Women in Early Medieval Europe, 400-1100 / Edition 1

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This history of the early European middle ages combines the rich literature of women's history with original research in mainstream history and traditional chronology. Beginning at the end of the Roman empire, the book recreates the lives of ordinary women and their personal stories. It uses the few documents produced by women, along with archaeological evidence, art, and the written records of medieval men.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"(There is) rich detail and complexity of the chapters...To those who will follow her, Bitel offers her book as signalling 'the beginning of a process of remembering'. It does this and at the same time makes a major contribution to the historiography of European women." John J. Contreni, Purdue University

"Women in Early Medieval Europe takes a fresh approach to the history of the early Middle Ages, and presents an impressive body of evidence...I would not hesitate to use this book as one of several texts in an undergraduate course, and I don't doubt that it would provoke lively discussion, not only about the lives of women and men in the Middle Ages, but also about the study of history and the variety of ways that it can be approached." Comitatus

"The book has been engagingly written in an easy, at times almost chatty, style that newcomers to the Middle Ages in particular will welcome... This is a searching study which provides excellent coverage of the knowable evidence and as a result presents a stimulating introduction to the topic. I enjoyed reading it immensely and recommend in the strongest possible terms to teachers and students of the history of women (and men) in the Middle Ages." E.M.C. Van Houts, University of Cambridge

"Writing the history of women in early medieval Europe is a big job, and Bitel is the first to undertake it in a book-length study." Sixteenth Century Journal, Susan P. Millinger, Roanoke College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521597739
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/24/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Medieval Textbooks Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa M. Bitel is Professor of History, University of Southern California. She studied at Harvard University, the National University of Ireland and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Her books include Isle of the Saints: Christian Settlement and Monastic Community in Early Ireland (1990) and Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Ireland (1996), winner of the Byron Caldwell Prize and the James Donnelly Prize.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Gender and landscapes; 2. Invasions, migrations, and barbarian queens; 3. The theory and practice of religion; 4. Survival by kinship, marriage, and motherhood; 5. The take-off: mobility and economic opportunity; 6. Conclusion: concerning famous women before and after 1100.

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