Historical women warriors in the Middle Ages are, unsurprisingly, hard to find. Nonetheless, however subtly, their presence is tangible in historical records. Although this was considered an ‘unnatural’ role for medieval women, and although mention of women warriors in these records is brief at best, a noticeable increase of women warriors occurred in the early Middle English period (McLaughlin 196). This paper will investigate several literary examples of the medieval woman warrior, such as Judith, Juliana, and Elene, in order to examine the contexts available for the woman warrior, her motives for overstepping the boundaries of her domestic sphere, and the repercussions of this choice.
Newer research lays the focus of medieval warfare on small scale actions, revolving around attacks on food production and storage centres. The role of the destruction or protection of said food resources lay with the cavalry; this wide scale raiding often resulted in famine. In such small actions, the personal skill of the combatants was decisive. Training, equipment, and tactical doctrine reflected this. Therefore, the ultimate responsibility for spreading feast among friend and famine among foe lay with the martial prowess of the cavalry. Expanding on previous writings, I shall demonstrate this using action reports from memoirs and chronicles, and contemporary treatises on tactics, strategy, and training.
The scale of Edward III’s ambitions in France profoundly affected the realm, transforming England into a ‘war state’. This paper explores the way in which England’s campaigns between c.1300 and c.1400 drew the Cornish gentry to a multitude of battlefields, for even the extreme south west felt the all-pervasive effects of war. But conflict also proved a locomotive for connectivity, providing the Cornish elite with a multitude of links – from formal indentures to victual sharing – with their betters, peers, and inferiors, which would otherwise not have existed. In this way war helped bind the realm together, stressing Cornwall’s integration into the kingdom.