Women in the Medieval English Countryside: Gender and Household in Brigstock Before the Plague

Women in the Medieval English Countryside: Gender and Household in Brigstock Before the Plague

by Judith M. Bennett
     
 

Unlike most histories of European women, which have typically focused on the 19th and 20th century elite, this study reconstructs the public lives of peasant women and men during the six decades before the Black Death of 1348-49. Drawing on the extensive records of the forest manor of Brigstock, Judith Bennett challenges the myth of a "golden age" of

…  See more details below

Overview

Unlike most histories of European women, which have typically focused on the 19th and 20th century elite, this study reconstructs the public lives of peasant women and men during the six decades before the Black Death of 1348-49. Drawing on the extensive records of the forest manor of Brigstock, Judith Bennett challenges the myth of a "golden age" of equality for medieval men and women. Instead, she ably shows that women faced profound political, legal, economic, and social disadvantages in their dealings with men. These disadvantages stemmed more from women's household status as dependents of their husbands than from any notion of female inferiority; consequently, adolescents and widows participated much more actively than wives in the public life of Brigstock. Women in the Medieval English Countryside demonstrates not only how enduring the subordination of women has been throughout English history, but also how firmly that subordination has been rooted in the conjugal household.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valuable and carefully researched examination of peasant life and power structures in the later Middle Ages. Any reader interested in peasant communities, medieval socio-economic status, and the ways in which the great changes of the calamitous fourteenth century affected ordinary people can profit greatly from Bennett's book."—Albion

"The strength of this work first of all is its meticulous use of evidence and research techniques, which lifts it above the existing studies of medieval women."—Signs

"Makes a strong contribution to a sophisticated dialogue on gender relations."—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Since household structure has such a profound bearing on women's lives, Judith Bennett's exploration of household and gender is timely."—Times Higher Education Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195040944
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/1987
Pages:
338
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.97(d)

Meet the Author

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >