Cover

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Contents

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p. v

List of Maps and Tables

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p. vii

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Preface

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p. ix

This volume originated in a remark and an invitation by Fredric L. Cheyette in 1993. Despite the current interest in medieval women, he observed, there still lacked close studies of women's lives and their exercise of lordship in the central Middle Ages. Was it not time for historians working "on the ground," as it were, to explore the lives and actions of women within their ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

IN A MILESTONE ARTICLE a quarter century ago, Jo Ann McNamara and Suzanne Wemple concluded that in Western Europe before the twelfth century there existed "no really effective barriers to the capacity of women to exercise power; they appear as military leaders, judges, castellans, controllers of property."1 But in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, McNamara ...

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1. Adela of Blois: Familial Alliances and Female Lordship

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pp. 7-43

POWERFUL ARISTOCRATIC FAMILIES long used the marriage of daughters to forge and strengthen alliances. But how did such alliances work in practice? Did the creation of new family ties actually result in mutual political, military, or economic support? To answer these questions, historians must look beyond abstract models of socio-political organization to particular ...

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2. Aristocratic Women in the Chartrain

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pp. 44-73

EARLY ONE SPRING MORNING in the 1040s, Emcline of Chateaudun rose to prepare for a journey north to Chartres to the residence of her lord, vidame Hugh. She had heard from a traveling monk that the count of Blois-Chartres was consulting with his vassals, including Hugh, regarding the continuing conflict with the count of Anjou. Emcline also wished to make a ...

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3. Aristocratic Women in the County of Champagne

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pp. 74-110

THE COUNTY OF CHAMPAGNE is best known today for the brilliant literary flowering of its court under the patronage of count Henry the Liberal (1152- 81) and countess Marie (1164-98).1 While the imaginative literature associated with that court continues to entertain us as it did medieval audiences, it is not entirely clear what those stories, especially die romances of Chretien de ...

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4. Countesses as Rulers in Flanders

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pp. 111-137

THE COUNTESSES OF FLANDERS played important political roles in the history of the county from the time of its Carolingan origins.1 They brought their husbands not only the prestige of their natal families but often even experience in ruling, as several came to Flanders as widows of other princes. Because of deaths at war and on crusade, Flanders passed through the ...

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5. Women, Poets, and Politics in Occitania

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pp. 138-178

LET US IMAGINE OURSELVES in the great hall of a noble family somewhere in southern France around the year 1300. Rich cloths cover the trestle tables where bowls overflow with fresh fruit; from the kitchen across the courtyard come servants with roasted meats; other servants kneel by their master and mistress at the head table to fill their cups with wine from silver ewers. ...

Notes

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pp. 179-234

Bibliography

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pp. 235-256

List of Contributors

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pp. 257-258

Index

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pp. 259-272