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Medieval single women : the politics of social classification in late medieval England

Author: Cordelia Beattie
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007. ©2007
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The single woman is a troubling and disruptive category. Does it denote all unmarried women, therefore creating a group which every female was part of at some stage in her life? Or were the categories 'maiden' and 'widow' so culturally significant in late medieval England that 'single woman' was a residual category for women seen as anomalous? Was the category 'single man' used in an equivalent way and, if not,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Beattie, Cordelia.
Medieval single women.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007
(OCoLC)609320152
Online version:
Beattie, Cordelia.
Medieval single women.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007
(OCoLC)632069813
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Cordelia Beattie
ISBN: 9780199283415 0199283419
OCLC Number: 132294206
Description: x, 179 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: List of abbreviations --
List of tables --
Introduction. Medieval classification schemes - 'Single woman' as a category of difference. Classification in cultural context. Clean maids, true wives, and steadfast widows - Femmes soles - Marriage, social change, and the politics of classification --
The single woman in penitential discourse. Penitential discourse, women, and sexual sin - Fourteen degrees of active lechery - Seven states of chastity --
The single woman in fiscal discourse. The schedule for the 1379 tax and the classification process - The Bishop's Lynn poll tax return of 1379 - Widows, daughters, and work - Thinking with single women --
The single woman in guild texts. Single sisters and the guild returns of 1388-9 - Maidens and single men: the register of the Guild of the Holy Cross, Stratford-upon-Avon (1406-15335) --
"Singlewoman" as a personal designation. Early examples of 'singlewoman' - York's civic records c.1475-c.1540 - From the medieval to the early modern --
Conclusion: cultural intersections --
Bibliography --
Index.
Responsibility: Cordelia Beattie.
More information:

Abstract:

"The single woman is a troubling and disruptive category. Does it denote all unmarried women, therefore creating a group which every female was part of at some stage in her life? Or were the categories 'maiden' and 'widow' so culturally significant in late medieval England that 'single woman' was a residual category for women seen as anomalous? Was the category 'single man' used in an equivalent way and, if not, why not? This study of the category 'single woman' offers a way into the complex process of social classification in late medieval England. All societies use classification in order to understand and impose order on society. In this book, Cordelia Beattie views classification as a political act, an act of power: those classifying must make choices about which divisions are most important or about who falls into which category, and such choices have repercussions. Rather than isolate gender as a variable, this book examines how it relates to other social cleavages. Using a variety of approaches, from social and cultural history, gender history, and medieval studies, its original methodology offers an innovative approach to a range of historical texts, from pastoral manuals to tax returns and guild registers."--Jacket.

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Very readable and informative...the author is to be congratulated on a book which - while most definitely a specialist study of the sources that clearly contributes new evidence to discussions about Read more...

 
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