Gender, Family and the Legitimation of Power: England from the Ninth to Early Twelfth Century, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Gender, Family and the Legitimation of Power

England from the Ninth to Early Twelfth Century, 1st Edition

By Pauline Stafford


352 pages

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Hardback: 9780860789949
pub: 2006-06-28
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This collection of studies by Pauline Stafford brings together a series of essays on Anglo-Saxon and early Norman England. Virtually all focus on political life, and with the highest levels of English society: with the king, the royal family and the elites, though one hitherto unpublished essay treats the interactions of king, lord and community across a broad social spectrum. All are concerned with issues of family, succession, inheritance and land holding. The perspectives of these essays range from that of a women's history chiefly interested in restoring women to a place in these politics, to one which focuses attention on the textual uses of women and family. Re-readings of charters and narrative histories, especially from these gendered perspectives, offer new insight into English political history, raise questions about central sources, such as Domesday Book, and question some received historiographies.


’This is a valuable collection for both students and specialists, reprinting a group of influential essays by, and an 'intelligent biography' of, an eminent scholar.’ Medium Aevum ’… many [papers] are from difficult-to-find, often out-of-print, essay collections. It is therefore extremely valuable to have these influential papers united in one volume, with an index to aid consultation.’ English Historical Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. 9th-Century Politics and Gender: Charles the Bald, Judith and England; Political women in Mercia, 8th to early 10th centuries; Succession and inheritance: a gendered perspective on Alfred's family history. The 10th and Early 11th Centuries: The reign of Æthelred the II, a study in the limitations on royal policy and action; Kinship and women in the world of Maldon: Byrhtnoth and his family; The laws of Cnut and the history of Anglo-Saxon royal promises; Political ideas in late 10th-century England: charters as evidence; King and kin, lord and community: England in the 10th and 11th centuries. Queens and Queenship: The king's wife in Wessex 800-1066; Emma: the powers of the queen in the 11th century; Queens, nunneries and reforming churchmen: gender, religious status and reform in 10th- and 11th-century England; Cherchez la femme. Queens, queens' lands and nunneries: missing links in the foundation of Reading Abbey. 1066 - and Beyond: The 'farm of one night' and the organization of King Edward's estates in Domesday; Women in Domesday; Women and the Norman Conquest. Index.

About the Author

Pauline Stafford is Professor and Head of the Department of History at the University of Liverpool, UK.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General