'Woman, who is equal to the moon in the flower of youth,
Is equal to a little old ape after the onset of old age'
This remarkable collection brings together a host of writings from across different regions and cultures of the Middle Ages, from the ninth to the fifteenth century. They are arranged to follow the life stages of a Medieval woman living a secular existence, from infancy and girlhood, through marriage and motherhood, to widowhood and old age. Some women are famous or captured in exceptional circumstances, many more are anonymous: an abandoned baby in Italy, or an epitaph for the female leader of a Synagogue, speaking across the ages.
This selection contains an introduction discussing the Medieval woman's status, separate introductions to each chapter, notes and a bibliography.