Reissued for the first time in decades, this ambitious work of Medieval scholarship by bestselling historians Frances and Joseph Gies traces the stories and fates of women in Medieval Europe over the course of a millennium.
Medieval history is often written as a series of battles and territorial shifts. But the essential contributions of women during this period have been too often relegated to the dustbin of history. In Women in the Middle Ages, Frances and Joseph Gies reclaim this lost history, in a lively historical survey that charts the evolution of women’s roles throughout the period, and profiles eight individual women in depth. We learn of Hildegarde of Bingen, an abbess who was a noted composer and founded two monasteries; of Eleanor de Montfort, a 13th century Princess of Wales who was captured by Edward I and held as a political prisoner for three years; and women of somewhat more modest means, such as the spouse of an Italian merchant, and a peasant’s wife.
Drawing upon their various stories, talented historians Frances and Joseph Gies—whose books were used by George R.R. Martin in his research for Game of Thrones—offer a kaleidoscopic view of the lives of women throughout this tumultuous period.
“A wealth of solid information.” –New York Times
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About the Author
Frances (1915–2013) and Joseph (1916–2006) Gies were the world’s bestselling historians of medieval Europe. Together and separately, they wrote more than twenty books, which col-lectively have sold more than a million copies. They lived in Michigan.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The problem with the brothers Gies is that they drag their 20th Century prejudices back with them through time. They are hindered in this work, for example, by the assumption that women were powerless in early Medieval times, because women were oppressed in more recent history.They do not look openly at the evidence, in my opinion. The power of Fredegund, Ringunth and others evades them. The book is an easy read but misrepresentative and thus a danger to those without a firm understanding of the primary sources from that time.
Although I was already a history buff, I still learned things I didn't know already about the role of women in medieval society and how they actually performed many more jobs and duties beyond the typical household duties that you would have expected in that male dominated society.