Between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries in Eu- rope, not all women fit the stereotype of passive housewife and mother. Many led bold and dy- namic lives. In this collection of historical por- traits, Maria Teresa Brolis tells the fascinating tales of fashion icons, art clients, businesswomen, saints, healers, lovers, and pilgrims – both famous and little known – who challenge conventional un- derstandings of the medieval female experience. Drawing on evidence from literary works and archival documents that include letters, chronicles, trials, testimonials, notary registers, contracts, and wills, Brolis pieces together an intricate overview of sixteen women’s lives. With zest and compas- sion, she describes the mysterious visionary Hilde- gard of Bingen, the cultured Heloisa, the powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine, Saint Clare of Assisi, and the rebel Joan of Arc, as well as lesser-known women such as Flora, the penitent moneylender, Bettina the healer, and Belfiore the pilgrim, among others. Following the trajectories and divergences of their lives from wealth to poverty, from conjugal love to the love of community, from the bedroom to life on the streets of Paris, London, Mainz, Rome, and Bergamo, each portrait offers a riveting glimpse into the often complex and surprising world of the medieval woman. Combining the rigour of research with the thrill and empathy of narrative, Stories of Women in the Middle Ages is a provocative investigation into the biographies of sixteen incredible medieval heroines. Maria Teresa Brolis is an independent scholar in medieval history. She lives in Bergamo, Italy. 1 2 M Q U P F A L L 2 0 1 8 M E D I E V A L H I S T O R Y ? W O M E N ’ S S T U D I E S Stories of Women in the Middle Ages maria teresa brolis Foreword by Franco Cardini An insightful window into the lives of women in the Middle Ages. S P E C I F I C AT I O N S November 2018 -i2l9lii87l7Si-l7ZZ ucin-7NZbmU4ZucSn-7NZA64Zg,2n--ZZ3o3as -i2l9lii87l7Si2l2ZZ u27n996ZbmU4Zu27n996ZA64Zgh7n99ZZ150r$ hZBZ2n7ZZc9233ZZZZZ a:00£ZoDot5oT5a
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