Women in the Medieval Common Law c.1170–1500  book cover
1st Edition

Women in the Medieval Common Law c.1170–1500

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after January 1, 2021
ISBN 9781472439802
January 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
201 Pages

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Book Description

Examining the medieval English common law’s ideas about and treatment of women, this book tackles the key issues of what legal sources can tell us about the view of women held by lawyers and legislators, and what light this can shed on understandings of women and gender in this period. It considers legislation, reports and records of litigation, and lawyers' discussions, exercises and treatises, and the petitions of those for whom the common law did not provide a satisfactory solution, drawing together a broad range of areas of law - land rights, civil claims and litigation, controls on sexual behaviour and crime. It highlights the vagueness of the common law when it came to women, and explores the reason behind this lack of clarity and how it relates to positive rules limiting women’s lives, and the contrasting growth in regulation of male rights and duties over the medieval period.



Gwen Seabourne is Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, University of Bristol, UK. She specialises in medieval legal history, and has written on medieval crime, economic regulation and medieval women.