Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-9

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-11

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiii

In the episcopal archives of Troyes, among layers of crumbling paper and yellowing parchments, every now and again there is a flash of color. A small hand-painted playing card appears, folded in half with a hole in the center held by a piece of cotton string (fig. 1). The card—probably painted and played in the late seventeenth century...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvii

Like the women at the end of this book, I have come to the close of this endeavor deeply in debt, benefiting from the intellectual generosity of many people and places. It is a joy to render account now. This book took shape under the patient teaching and advice of William Chester Jordan. His most challenging questions,...

On Currencies, Names, and Transcriptions

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pp. xix-21

List of Abbreviations and Short Titles

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pp. xxi-xxii

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Introduction: Written Fragments and Living Parts

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pp. 1-14

In October of 1224 Beatrix, the widow of Thomas of St.-Rémy, came before an official of the bishop’s court in Reims and drew up a donation charter for the nuns of Clairmarais, the new Cistercian nunnery taking shape just beyond the city’s walls (fig. 2). She gave the women, among whom was her daughter...

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1. Concerning Certain Women: The Women’s Religious Movement in Champagne

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pp. 15-44

On a spring day in 1230, a group of religious women gathered to sing the psalms. Their voices resonated across the parish of St.-André, which lay just beyond the town walls of Troyes in a suburb known as Chichéry. The singing carried over the patchwork of farm plots and back gardens and was audible to the nearby...

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2. Cities of Refuge: The Social World of Religious Women

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pp. 45-77

Toward the end of his universal chronicle, the Cistercian monk Aubry of Trois-Fontaines commented dryly that in the year 1231 “the count of Champagne created communes of townsmen and peasants, whom he trusted more than his knights.”1 Aubry’s text, the only local history of Champagne composed...

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3. Under the Religious Life: Reform and the Cistercian Order

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pp. 78-116

Early in the winter of 1234 officials in the county of Champagne seized a widowed townswoman of Provins named Gila. Suspected of heresy, she was imprisoned in the count’s jail and her house and possessions confiscated.1 Gila was one of many people who the Dominican friar Robert le Bougre accused of heresy...

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4. The Bonds of Charity: The Special Cares of Cistercian Nuns

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pp. 117-146

Around 1225, Yvette of Huy, a recluse living in the southern Low Countries, took on a final penitential act of conversion to the religious life: she began to wear the rough Cistercian habit under her clothes, a commitment she kept until her death several years later. Yvette’s adult life encompassed a series of personal...

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5. One and the Same Passion: Convents and Crusaders

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pp. 147-170

Late in the summer of 1192, ships began to return to the southern ports of France and Italy bearing crusaders and pilgrims who had defended the Holy Land after the city of Jerusalem had fallen to Saladin. Among the knights, lords, squires, and retainers was an Englishwoman of middle age, Margaret of Beverley...

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6. A Space Apart: Gender and Administration in a New Social Landscape

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pp. 171-200

Late in the spring of 1290 Alice, abbess of the Cistercian convent of St.-Jacques de Vitry, traveled to Paris and appeared before the Parlement of Paris, the high court of the realm, during its Pentecost session. Representing her convent and its interests—financial and spiritual—she pleaded her case for their rightful possession of...

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Epilogue: A Deplorable and Dangerous State: Crisis, Consolidation, and Collapse

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pp. 201-209

The crisis began almost imperceptibly. Inflation had persisted steadily through the second half of the thirteenth century. Taxes for crusade expeditions became a regular burden. Sometime in the mid-1280s the price of grain began to rise. A few nunneries borrowed money or put more lands to lease to cope with these...

Appendix: Cistercian Convents and Domus-Dei of Champagne

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pp. 211-215

Bibliography

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pp. 217-250

Index

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pp. 251-261