Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Women in the Middle Ages

1978, possibly first paperback edition, from Perennial Library
Frances and Joseph Gies
Women in the Middle Ages
Original and purchase price unknown
Slightly worn paperback

Serviceable introduction to the topic, with both general observations and profiles of specific women.  Since the book covers about 1000 years and a few European countries, don't expect any depth.  Also, some of their conclusions are unsupported by the text, like that women's status "advanc[ed] with the civilizing influence of Christianity and of contact with Roman culture," or that one woman who had no dowry must've therefore been beautiful.  I did find it interesting how much women were able to participate in the guilds, and I liked that they tried to show differences and similarities among women of different economic classes.  Includes reproductions of Medieval art.

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