Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages

Hardcover | December 15, 2007

byJeremy Goldberg

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Did medieval women have the power to choose? This is a question at the heart of this book which explores three court cases from Yorkshire in the decades after the Black Death. Alice de Rouclif was a child heiress made to marry the illegitimate son of the local abbot and then abducted by her feudal superior. Agnes Grantham was a successful businesswoman ambushed and assaulted in a forest whilst on her way to dine with the Master of St Leonard’s Hospital. Alice Brathwell was a respectable widow who attracted the attentions of a supposedly aristocratic conman. These are their stories.

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Did medieval women have the power to choose? This is a question at the heart of this book which explores three court cases from Yorkshire in the decades after the Black Death. Alice de Rouclif was a child heiress made to marry the illegitimate son of the local abbot and then abducted by her feudal superior. Agnes Grantham was a success...

Jeremy Goldberg is Reader in Medieval History at the University of York and author of Women, Work and Life Cycle in a Medieval Economy (1992), Women in England c. 1275-1525: Documentary Sources (1995) and Medieval England: A Social History 1250-1550 (2004). He is a leading authority on medieval social and gender history.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:December 15, 2007Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230602940

ISBN - 13:9780230602946

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Table of Contents

Alice de Rouclif: An Eventful Childhood * William Pottell: Stories and Storytellers * Ellen Taliour: Gender and the Remembrance of Times Past * Robert Thewed: The Ties of Tenure and Locality * Anabilla Wastelyne: The Ties of Kinship * Dom. William Marrays: Stories and Readers * Alice Through the Looking Glass * Brewing Trouble: The Devout Widow’s Tale * Patriarchy, Civic Identity and the Widow of Doncaster         

Editorial Reviews

"Goldberg's book has a little of everything - detailed archival work, courtroom drama, theoretical speculation, microhistory, macrohistory, every social class possible and plenty of gender groups, biography, and late medieval England, all in the service of a question about the legal history of rape. It's like a stylistic melding of Natalie Zemon Davis's Martin Guerre with Duby's William Marshal: Flower of Chivalry. The cast of characters in the beginning is a great touch." - Bonnie Wheeler, English and Medieval Studies, Southern Methodist University "The book gives us a good picture of how a court case of this sort worked in practice, with lots of insights into actual and potential complications on the societal and legal levels." - Speculum "Goldberg's study will be of great interest to specialists of pre-modern canon law, especially in regard to women's right to choose to marry or to have sex, as well as to the power men may exercise over them. In this regard, Jermey Goldberg's thorough investigation is truly illuminating, not only for its patient and precise reconstructions but also for its numerous and extremely carefully examined sources, and for the forty pages of endnotes that constitute a fascinating cornucopia of further reflections and discussions." - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching