Women and War: V1: Medieval Women and War, 800-1499, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women and War: V1

Medieval Women and War, 800-1499, 1st Edition

Edited by Jaclyn Carter, Timothy Duffy


433 pages

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Hardback: 9780367374884
pub: 2020-03-25
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This is an seven-volume collection of primary texts, each selected and introduced by experts, reproducing in facsimile a wealth of materials related to the history of women and warfare in the English-speaking world. The editors are historians and literary scholars with a wealth of publications in women’s writing and war literature. The project focuses, for most of its historical range, on England (and Britain); it also includes volumes on the United States, Australia, and Canada. The collection documents women’s historical and literary participation in, and commentary on, war. It represents the first attempt to examine the variety of roles women have played in war, and as critics and commentators on war, across all of history into the twentieth century. The project makes a unique and powerful claim about the long history of women’s involvement in war in the English-speaking world

Table of Contents

Volume I: Women and War from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Edited by Jaclyn Carter and Tim Duffy



Part 1: Literary Perspectives on Medieval Women Causing War

1. Extract from ‘Beowulf’, in Francis B. Gummere (ed. and trans.), The Old English Epic: Beowulf, Finnsburg, Waldere, Deor, Widsith, and the German Hildebrand (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1914), pp. 78-92.

2. ‘This is the Exile of the Sons of Uisliu’, in Vernam Hull (ed. and trans.), Longes Mac N-Uislenn; The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1949), pp. 60-69.

3. Extract from Frederic Madden Layamon (ed.), Brut, or Chronicle of Britain: A Poetical Semi-Saxon Paraphrase of the Brute of Wace, vol. 2, (London: Society of Antiquaries, 1847), pp. 199-218.

4. Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Legend of Cleopatra’, in Walter W. Skeat (trans.), Chaucer: The Legend of Good Women (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889), pp. 42-46.

5. Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Knight’s Tale’, in Walter W. Skeat (trans.) and Richard Morris (ed.), The Prologue, The Knight’s Tale, The Nonne Preestes Tale: The Canterbury Tales (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907), pp. 57-64.

6. Sir Thomas Malory, Chapters I-III in Le Morte Darthur, vol. 2, Book XX (London: MacMillan & Co., 1903), pp. 433-438.

Part 2: Literary Perspectives on Medieval Women at War

7. ‘The Banished Wife’s Complaint’, in Aurelia I. Henry (trans.) and Albert S. Cook and Chauncey B. Tinker (eds.), Select Translations from Old English Poetry (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1902), pp. 64-66.

8. ‘Elene’, in James M. Garnett (trans.), Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and The Dream of the Rood: Anglo-Saxon Poems (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1911), pp. 7-24.

9. ‘The Legend of Saint Juliana’, in Benjamin Thorpe (ed. and trans.), Codex Exoniensis: A Collection of Anglo-Saxon Poetry (London: Society of Antiquaries of London, 1842), pp. 256-286.

10. ‘Judith’, in James M. Garnett (trans.), Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and The Dream of the Rood: Anglo-Saxon Poems, (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1911), pp. 44-56.

11. Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Tale of Melibeus’ in Walter W. Skeat (trans), The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1894), pp. 199-207.

Part 3: Historical Perspectives of Medieval Women at War

12. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, J. A. Giles (ed.), (London, G. Bell & Sons, Ltd., 1914), pp. 67-69.

13. Extract from Ordericus Vitalis and Thomas Forester (trans.), The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, vol. 2 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853), pp. 493-498.

14. Eleanor of Aquitaine, ‘A letter to Pope Celestine III’ in Alison Weir (ed. and trans.), Eleanor of Aquitaine: By the Wrath of God, Queen of England (Jonathan Cape, 1999), pp. 291-295.

15. Extract from Jean Froissart and Thomas Johnes (trans.), Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Part of the Reign of Edward II to the Coronation of Henry IV, vol. 1 (London: W. Smith, 1844), pp. 5-13.

16. Joan of Arc, ‘Joan’s Letter to the English, Poitiers, 22 March 1429’, in Carolyne Larrington (trans.), Women and Writing in Medieval Europe: A Sourcebook (Routledge, 1995), pp. 184-185.

17. Extract from T. Douglas Murray (ed.), Thomas de Courcelles and Guillaume Manchon (trans.), Jeanne D’Arc: Maid of Orleans, Deliverer of France (New York: McClure, Phillips & Company, 1902), pp. 8-14; 22-33.

18. Margaret, Queen of France and England, ‘Letter of Margaret, Queen of France and England, wife of Henry the Sixth, to Charles the Seventh, in which she promises to do all in her power for the furtherance of peace between the realms of France and England,’ in Joseph Stevenson (ed.), Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Wars of the English in France During the Reign of Henry the Sixth, King of England, vol. 1 (London: Longman, 1861), pp. 183-186.

Part 4: The Renaissance Woman at War: Classical Models

19. Virgil, John Dryden (trans.), ‘Book 11’, in The Aeneid (New York: P.F. Collier, 1909), pp. 360-393.

20. Horace, David Ferry (trans.), ‘Poem I.37’, in Odes (New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1997), p. 97.

Part 5. The Renaissance Woman at War: The Romance Heroine

21. Ariosto, Ludovico and John Hoole (trans.), ‘Canto 46’, in Orlando Furioso (London, 1807), pp. 123-171.

22. Tasso, Torquato and J. H. Wiffen (trans.), ‘Canto 12’, in Jerusalem Liberated (London, Bonn, 1854), pp. 270-296.

Part 6. The Renaissance Woman at War: Women Warriors in English

23. Extract from Raphael Holinshed, Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (London: J. Johnson, 1808), pp. 495-502.

24. Extract from Christopher Marlowe, The Massacre of Paris: With the Death of the Duke of Guise (London: Marshall, 1818), pp. 18-21.

25. William Shakespeare, ‘Act V’, Henry VI, Part One (Leipzig: B. Tauchnitz, 1868), pp. 66-83.

26. Elizabeth I, from A Declaration of the Causes Moving the Queen of England to give aide to the defence of the people afflicted and oppressed in the low countries (London, 1585).

Part 7. Women Civil Warriors

27. Queen Henrietta Maria,‘Letters to Charles I’, in Letters of Queen Henrietta Maria (London: R. Bentley, 1857), pp. 138-163.

28. ‘The Women’s Petition of 1649’, in J. O'Faolain and L Martines (eds), Not in God's Image (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), pp. 266-267.

About the Editors

Jaclyn Carter is an Eyes High Doctoral student of English at the University of Calgary. Her primary area of research is medieval literature. More particularly, she studies elements of colonialism in Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon literatures. She has presented her work at various international medieval conferences, including the Medieval Association of the Pacific.

Timoth Duffy is Assistant Professor at the College of Arts and Science, New York University. His research focuses on the Renaissance literary imagination, devotional practice, and spatial science and philosophy.

About the Series

History of Feminism

The History of Feminism series aims to make key archival source material available to scholars, researchers, postgraduates and undergraduates working in the fields of women and gender studies, women's history and women's writing. Subject matter and texts are selected for their decisive contribution to the feminist history of ideas in an international context.

Sets are published in hardback format of between three to six volumes and include full-length documents, pamphlets, reviews, newspaper articles and debates, letters, and fiction. The first set, Sex, Social Purity and Sarah Grand (edited by Ann Heilmann and Stephanie Forward), is concerned with the most prominent British New Woman writer and her contemporary critical reception.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies