Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm

Susan M. Johns

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ISBN: 978-0-7190-6305-3
Series: Gender in History
Subject Area: History
BIC Category: Medieval history
Published: July 2003
216 x 138 mm
288 pages
Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • The first major work on noblewomen in the twelfth century and Normandy, and of the ways in which they exercised power. Offers an important reconceptualisation of women’s role in aristocratic society and suggests new ways of looking at lordship and the ruling elite in the high middle ages. 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 twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm. Asserts the importance of the life-cycle in determining the power of aristocratic women. Demonstrates that the influence of gender on lordship was profound, complex and varied.
    Literary sources
    1. Power and portrayal
    2. Patronage and power
    Noblewomen and power: the charter evidence
    3. Countesses
    4. Witnessing
    5. Countergifts and affidation
    6. Seals
    7. Women of the lesser nobility
    8. Royal inquests and the power of noblewomen: the Rotuli de Dominabus et Pueris et Puellis de XII Comitatibus of 1185
    Appendix one: catalogue of seals from the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries
    Appendix two: noblewomen in the Rotuli de Dominabus
    Susan M. Johns is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Bangor University
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