Skip to main content Accessibility help

Book description

Focusing on England but covering a wide range of European and global traditions and influences, this authoritative volume examines the central role of medieval women in the production and circulation of books and considers their representation in medieval literary texts, as authors, readers and subjects, assessing how these change over time. Engaging with Latin, French, German, Welsh and Gaelic literary culture, it places British writing in wider European contexts while also considering more distant influences such as Arabic. Essays span topics including book production and authorship; reception; linguistic, literary, and cultural contexts and influences; women's education and spheres of knowledge; women as writers, scribes and translators; women as patrons, readers and book owners; and women as subjects. Reflecting recent trends in scholarship, the volume spans the early Middle Ages through to the eve of the Reformation and emphasises the multilingual, multicultural and international contexts of women's literary culture.


‘This book makes a statement, not simply about medieval women, but about medieval life. With chapters on ecclesiastical women, noble and royal women, townswomen, readers and patrons the volume offers a broad understanding of the interests, complexities, and dynamics of medieval life. The arrangement of the essays makes it easy to navigate among topics and interests. The essays are cogent; the bibliographies are good, and the entire volume gives readers a sense of the many ways in which women were involved with a broadly conceived literary culture in the Middle Ages.'

Lynn Staley - Colgate University

‘This groundbreaking volume of essays extends our collective knowledge of medieval British women's literary culture, and indeed our sense of what constitutes a literary culture, in consistently learned and illuminating ways. The product of deep research and long conversation, it represents both a milestone in the field and a provocation to further work across the wide range of centuries, settings, and genres addressed by its contributors.'

Nicholas Watson - Harvard University

‘As one might expect from two such distinguished scholars in the field of medieval women's writing, Corinne Saunders and Diane Watt have solicited a wealth of new research from their contributors on women and literary culture throughout the long medieval period. This excellent volume is not only brimful with information but shapes the role of women in freshly ambitious terms, ranging both widely and in illuminating detail across manuscript culture, female reading communities, medicine, genre, and language. It will become an indispensable scholarly and teaching resource.'

Ardis Butterfield - Yale University

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Page 1 of 2

Page 1 of 2


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.