Medieval Women and War : Female Roles in the Old French Tradition Hardback
For the first time, Sophie Harwood uses the Old French tradition as a lens through which to examine women and warfare from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
The result is a skilled analysis of gender roles in the medieval era, and a heightened awareness of how important literary texts are to our understanding of the historical period in which they circulated. Medieval Women and War examines both the text and illustrations of over 30 Old French manuscripts to highlight the ways in many of the texts differ from their traditionally assumed (usually classical) sources.
Structured around five pivotal female types - women cited as causes for violence, women as victims of violence, women as ancillaries to warriors, women as warriors themselves, and women as political influences - this important book unpicks gendered boundaries to shed new light on the social, political and military structures of warfare as well as adding nuance to current debates on womanhood in the middle ages.