Noblewomen, Aristocracy and Power in the Twelfth-Century Anglo-Norman Realm

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Manchester University Press, Sep 20, 2003 - History - 276 pages
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This is the first study of noblewomen in 12th-century England and Normandy, and of the ways in which they exercised power. It draws on a rich mix of evidence to offer an important reconceptualization of women's role in aristocratic society, and in doing so suggests new ways of looking at lordship and the ruling elite in the high middle ages. The book considers a wide range of literary sources such as chronicles, charters, seals and governmental records to draw out a detailed picture of noblewomen in the 12th-century Anglo-Norman realm. It asserts the importance of the lifecycle in determining the power of these aristocratic women, thereby demonstrating that the influence of gender on lordship was profound, complex and varied.
 

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Amazing

Contents

Power and portrayal
13
Patronage and power
30
Countesses
53
Witnessing
81
Countergifts and affidation
107
Seals
122
Women of the lesser nobility
152
the Rotuli
165
1O CONCLUSION
195
BIBLIOGRAPHY
247
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About the author (2003)


Susan M. Johns was Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Huddersfield 1994-97 and now teaches at the University of Sheffield

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