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Married Life in the Middle Ages, 900-1300

Elisabeth van Houts

March 2022

ISBN: 9780192856371

312 pages
Paperback
234x156mm

In Stock

Oxford Studies in Medieval European History

Price: £24.99

An analysis of the lived experience of Christian married life in Christian medieval Europe, this study examines the process of getting married and wedding celebrations; the married life of lay couples and clergy, their sexuality, and any remarriage; and alternative living, including concubinage, polygyny, and the single life.

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Description

An analysis of the lived experience of Christian married life in Christian medieval Europe, this study examines the process of getting married and wedding celebrations; the married life of lay couples and clergy, their sexuality, and any remarriage; and alternative living, including concubinage, polygyny, and the single life.

  • The first major analysis of the experience of married life by men and women in Christian medieval Europe between 900 and 1300
  • Observes the lived experience of the married couple as it emerges from chronicles and medieval fiction
  • Argues that the woman's role in the debate on the formation of marriage was more significant than previously thought
  • Addresses debates surrounding not only marriage, but also concubinage, polygyny, and the single life

About the Author(s)

Elisabeth van Houts, Honorary Professor in European Medieval History, University of Cambridge

Elisabeth van Houts is Honorary Professor in European Medieval History at the University of Cambridge. Born in the Netherlands, she received her doctorate from the University of Groningen in 1982. Since 1984, she has lived and worked in Cambridge where she teaches medieval history, and has been a Fellow of Emmanuel College since 1997. The University of Cambridge awarded her a DLitt (a higher doctorate) in 2001 and the title of Honorary Professor in European Medieval History in 2011. Van Houts has published widely on Anglo-Norman history, the history of women and gender, and medieval historiography and memory.

Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I: Getting Married
    1:Making of Marriage
    2:Wedding Celebrations
    Part II: Married Life
    3:Sexuality and Love
    4:Authority and Collaboration
    5:End of Marriage and Remarriage
    6:Clerical Marriages
    Part III: Alternative Living
    7:Living with One or More Partners
    8:Single Life
    Conclusion
    Bibliography

Reviews

"Married Life in the Middle Ages shows itself as a book capable of carrying out two missions: that of giving a new general vision of medieval marriage and providing numerous ideas for specialized studies." - Fabrizio De Falco, Storicamente

"This is a book that deserves to be read by a wide audience: it has important messages for many medievalists." - Julia Barrow, Speculum

"This is an elegantly written and significant book; everyone who is interested in medieval marriage should read it." - Charles Donahue, Jr, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

"Married Life in the Middle Ages, 900-1300 is an important book for any scholar investigating marriage. While no one book can provide a completely comprehensive view of marriage in the medieval world, this one comes admirably close...Engagingly written, van Houts' study of medieval marriage is a must-read for anyone interested in the social history of the Middle Ages." - Professor Amy Livingstone, Wittenberg University, Reviews in History

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