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General Studies

In the past twenty years, especially, many books have been written on women in the Middle Ages. The editors have selected ten of these volumes that provide a helpful introduction or general study:

Susan G. Bell, ed., Women: From the Greeks to the French Revolution (Stanford, 1973).

Peter Dronke, Women Writers of the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1984).

Margaret Wade Labarge, A Small Sound of the Trumpet: Women in Medieval Life (Beacon Press, 1986).

Frances and Joseph Gies, Women in the Middle Ages (Harper & Row, 1980).

Julius Kirshner and Suzanne F. Wemple, eds., Women of the Medieval World (Basil Blackwell, 1985).

Angela Lucas, Women in the Middle Ages: Religion, Marriage & Letters (St. Martin, 1984).

Eileen Power and M. M. Poston, Medieval Women (Cambridge, 1976).

Shulamith Shahar, The Fourth Estate: A History of Women in the Middle Ages (Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 1984).

Susan M. Stuard, ed., Women in Medieval Society (Pennsylvania, 1976).

Ruth A. Tucker & Walter Liefeld, Daughters of the Church: Women & Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present (Zondervan, 1987).


Hildegard of Bingen (Morehouse, 1990). Color VHS videotape, 60 min., $39.95, includes discussion guide. Four fifteen-minute segments introduce her life and writings.

Women of Spirit (University of Wisconsin; to order, 1–800–747–7444). Series of five audiotapes uses dramatic readings and scholarly explanations to introduce Catherine of Siena and others.

Further Study

It is impossible to study the medieval church without being struck by the prevalence of mystical experiences and writings. To guide readers who want to study this aspect more deeply, the editors asked Dr. Elizabeth A. Petroff, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of ...

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