Medieval Writings on Secular Women

Medieval Writings on Secular Women

Editor: Patricia Skinner
Introduction by: Patricia Skinner
Editor: Elisabeth van Houts
Introduction by: Elisabeth van Houts

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780141439914
  • 448 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


The first collection to bring together the forgotten female voices of the Middle Ages.

Artfully arranged to follow the life stages of a medieval woman living a secular existence, this remarkable volume collects a host of writings from across different regions and cultures spanning the ninth to the fifteenth centuries. The writings-some by famous figures, but many anonymous-illuminate the life circumstances of their authors, from a woman abandoned as a baby in Italy to a female leader of a synagogue. Featuring many new translations, Medieval Writings on Secular Women is a valuable contribution to the fields of women’s and medieval literature.


“An admirable variety of writings (almost 140 of them!) on the stages of women’s lives and the ranges of women’s concerns.  Were I teaching a course on medieval history or culture, this would be a text to consider for adoption.” —William Cotton, Associate Professor, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
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