"A welcome and useful introduction to the study of medieval women."—Speculum
"In addition to suggesting new lines of scholarly investigation, the essays [in Women in Medieval Society] make a contribution to the teaching of women's history."—American Historical ReviewEarly medieval women exercised public roles, rights, and responsibilities. Women contributed through their labor to the welfare of the community. Women played an important part in public affairs. They practiced birth control through abortion and infanticide. Women committed crimes and were indicted. They owned property and administered estates. The drive toward economic growth and expansion abroad rested on the capacity of women to staff and manage economic endeavors at home.
"The book is a good example of the benefits to be derived from the new interest in women's studies. . . . New information emerges because new questions have been asked."—Signs
In the later Middle Ages, the social position of women altered significantly, and the reasons why the role of women in society tended to become more restrictive are examined in these essays.
Susan Mosher Stuard is Professor of History Emeritus at Haverford College. She is editor of Women in Medieval History and Historiography and author of A State of Deference: Ragusa/Dubrovnik in the Medieval Centuries and Gilding the Market: Luxury and Fashion in Fourteenth-Century Italy, all published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.