Pragmatism, Patronage, Piety and Participation: Women in the Anglo-Norman Chronicles



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This dissertation examines the chronicles written in England and Normandy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and explores how the writers of these histories perceived women. This study is meant to illuminate the lives of the women in the Anglo-Norman chronicles at every stage of life. While many modern books have addressed medieval women, they have attempted to deal with women more generally, looking at many areas and societies over hundreds of years. Other modern historians have focused on a few select women using evidence from the same Anglo-Norman chronicles used in this study. These historians, often times unintentionally, portray their subjects as extraordinary; this is simply not the case. Women like Adela of Blois, the Empress Matilda, and Queen Edith Matilda were the rule not the exception. The Anglo-Norman authors illuminate the lives of women at every stage of life and in every order of society. The chroniclers describe women who were wise and gave good advice, who were pious and showed it through patronage of the Church, and who were very active in society. This is their history.



Medieval Women, Medieval