Carolyne Larrington has gathered together a uniquely comprehensive collection of writing by, for and about medieval women, spanning one thousand years and Europe from Iceland to Byzantiu. The extracts are arranged thematically, dealing with the central areas of medieval women's lives and their relation to social and cultural institutions. Each section is contextualised with a brief historical introduction, and the materials span literary, historical, theological and other narrative and imaginative writing. The writings here uncover and confound the stereotype of the medieval woman as lady or virgin by demonstrating the different roles and meanings that the sign of woman occupied in the imaginative space of the medieval period.
Larrington's clear and accessible editorial material and the modern English translations of all the extracts mean this work is ideally suited for students. Women and Writing in Early Europe: A Sourcebook also contains an extensive and fully up-to-date bibliography, making it not only essential reading for undergraduates and post graduates but also a valuable tool for scholars.