A mere chattel, inferior to men, or their social equal - what was the role of the Anglo-Saxon woman? In this stimulating book, Christine Fell shows how for many women, Anglo-Saxon England was a golden age of power and wealth, culture and education. From her analysis of the primary sources - wills, charters, letters and chronicles - and drawing on the evidence of place-names and poetry, Professor Fell argues that, in court, convent or manor house, Anglo-Saxon women exploited to the full the resources and opportunities available to them. Whether we look at Bede's account of St Hild, the life of Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, or countless other women, this pattern merges with astonishing fullness and coherence.
The picture can only be completed by looking at what came after. The final two chapters by Cecily Clark and Elizabeth Williams show the impact of the Norman Conquest and the Gregorian reform. Within a century the tide had turned: in literature the image of women lost touch with reality, and in reality women lost the status which they had so long enjoyed.
With 75 black and white illustrations.
In generally very good condition with light bumps to corners.