Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan | 2007 | ISBN: 0230602940 | Pages: 256 | PDF | 1.28 MB
Did medieval women have the power to choose? This is a question at the heart of this book which explores three court cases from Yorkshire in the decades after the Black Death. Alice de Rouclif was a child heiress made to marry the illegitimate son of the local abbot and then abducted by her feudal superior. Agnes Grantham was a successful businesswoman ambushed and assaulted in a forest whilst on her way to dine with the Master of St Leonard’s Hospital. Alice Brathwell was a respectable widow who attracted the attentions of a supposedly aristocratic conman. These are their stories.
“Goldberg's book has a little of everything–detailed archival work, courtroom drama, theoretical speculation, microhistory, macrohistory, every social class possible and plenty of gender groups, biography, and late medieval England, all in the service of a question about the legal history of rape. It’s like a stylistic melding of Natalie Zemon Davis’s Martin Guerre with Duby's William Marshal: Flower of Chivalry. The cast of characters in the beginning is a great touch.”–Bonnie Wheeler, English and Medieval Studies, Southern Methodist University