IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 224: Life after Death: Widows, Property and Power in the 12th and 13th Centuries

Monday 14 July 2003, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Liverpool
Organiser:Louise J. Wilkinson, Department of History & American Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University
Moderator/Chair:Pauline Stafford, School of History, University of Liverpool / Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 224-aThe Two Ela's: Noble Widows in 13th-Century England
(Language: English)
Polly Hanchett, Department of History, King's College London
Index terms: Gender Studies, Local History, Social History, Women's Studies
Paper 224-bIs the Image of the Strong Icelandic Woman a Myth or a Reality? A Comparison of Widows' Opportunities for Authority and Independence in Iceland and England in the 12th and 13th Centuries
(Language: English)
Philadelphia Ricketts, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Social History, Women's Studies
Paper 224-cUp Close and Personal: Women's Wills in England before the Black Death
(Language: English)
Louise J. Wilkinson, Department of History & American Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University
Index terms: Daily Life, Gender Studies, Social History, Women's Studies
Abstract

This session will explore the interaction of gender, social status and the female life-cycle in shaping widows’ lives in the central Middle Ages. Polly’s paper will consider the roles played by two widowed countesses of Warwick in England both as vehicles for the promotion of family interests and as agents in their own right. Philadelphia’s paper will examine the theory that Icelandic widows enjoyed a greater scope for independent authority and action than their English counterparts. Louise’s paper will re-assess the experience of widowhood in 13th-century England by investigating the material wealth, household structures and social circles of widowed female testators.