Tag Archives: women

Christine de Pizan

Around 1400, the most famous woman author was Christine de Pizan (or Pisan, both short for Pizzano, south of Bologna, Italy). Christine spent her life at the French court, originally moving there as an infant when her father was hired … Continue reading

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Early medieval ladies

This post is a follow-up to an earlier one about the lives of castle ladies. Prior to 1100, medieval ladies didn’t have castles, they had halls. There was one key difference that completely shaped the lady’s life. That is, instead … Continue reading

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The peasant’s wife

The peasant’s wife had a pretty hard life. In addition to helping with a lot of field work as needed, she did a lot of everything else. Her most likely cause of death by accident was to fall into the … Continue reading

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Life of a castle lady

Adult life for a knight’s wife probably began in her late teen years; her husband could be anywhere from 21 to 35, depending on how soon land and affluence had come to him. Traditionally, the lady of a manor or … Continue reading

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Planning for an average wedding

It’s the late 13th century and you’re a prosperous cooper in a mid-sized town in Flanders. Your daughter, age 17, is getting married in the spring, and you need to put on a feast for 100. You live in/above your … Continue reading

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A wedding in Italy

Weddings in medieval Italy were a little bit different. The betrothal was a much bigger deal in Italy than in Northern Europe. The bride’s family prepared a lavish feast at their home. The bride’s male relatives met the groom and … Continue reading

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With this ring, I thee wed!

The medieval wedding ceremony itself was very simple. Of course, if you’re getting married outside on the church steps, you don’t want long personalized vows, a string of bridesmaids, and a tenor solo of “Endless Love.” Especially when umbrellas and … Continue reading

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Wedding on the church steps

The simplest medieval wedding was the informal private marriage, but it was not recommended. All that was truly required was that the couple must say to each other “I take you as my wife” and “I take you as my … Continue reading

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Will you marry me?

By medieval theory, they did not make arranged marriages. Marriages were contracted only by consent. Well, basically. There are many reasons to consent. Some girls consented to marriage after being locked in their rooms for six months. Some girls consented … Continue reading

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Dowries

Medieval children transitioned into adulthood with growing responsibility in their profession or with marriage. Girls, as always, married earlier, so we’ll start with marriage from the girl’s point of view. Aristocratic girls could be betrothed or married at very young … Continue reading

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