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Drawing upon extensive research in medieval ...
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Drawing upon extensive research in medieval archives, the author shows that most fifteenth-century Frenchwomen could expect a life of constant subjugation to male desire. Rape, for instance, was common and considered only a minor crime. He then considers whether public prostitution might paradoxically have been seen by the secular and religious authorities as a means of social control, and of preserving marital stability: the virtue of wives and daughters was best protected by the existence of public brothels, where sexual urges could be satisfied without adultery or rape. Jacques Rossiaud also describes the social background of the prostitutes, brothel-keepers, pimps, and their clientele, providing a vivid overview of the context in which medieval prostitution existed.
Medieval Prostitution will be of interest to medieval historians, as well as to students of the history of the family and sexuality.
1. Urban Prostitution.
2. Sexual Order and the Subversion of Youth.
3. Victims, Procuresses and the Prostitutes.
4. Prostitution and Society.
Part II: Prostitution and the Evolution of Social Attitudes:.
5. The Relaxation in Social Mores.
6. A Victory of the Flesh.
7. Nature Besieged by War and Pestilence.
8. The 'Cult of the Good Time' and the Theme of the Compassionate Christ.
9. Urban Disorder and the Preaching Missions.
10. A Summing Up: Prostitution as a Mirror Image of the City.