That’s a very kind offer. I’m interested in the story, but must admit that these days I seem to lack the fortitude to read whole books. Not sure if I’m getting lazy or have just developed a shorter attention span through most of my reading nowadays being through online subscriptions to various publications. I’m already sitting on a backlog of unread books on wine and other subjects.
Perhaps there will be someone else here who will do your generosity more justice.
I studied medieval history a few years ago at the UEA. There was considerable emphasis on the important roles played by medieval queens and noblewomen.
Do not think the medieval era was a man’s world. There were some formidable women who would chop you in half as soon as look at you. Queen Beatrice of Castille, Matilda of Tuscany, Queen Bertrada (Charlemagne’s mother) just touches the surface of those hard nosed ladies who stood no nonsense from jumped up men who postured around once too often. Old Bertrada crossed the Alps on her own to sort the pope out regarding the issues of her son’s marriage.
Brunhild, the Visigoth princess, who teamed up with the Franks to revenge the death of her Nibelung father was a real toughie. The east Roman empress Irene chopped off a few male heads in her time, not to mention the educated queens who patronised the arts such as Henry I’s wife Matilda.
And the nun Hildegard de Bingen was intellectually light years ahead of most of the men of her time.
Just to round off the exciting life women had in those times, if you were a lass in 8th century Ireland wanting a divorce under the then Irish law you got a much better financial cut of matrimonial assets than those poor divorced wives in 19th or early 20th century England.
So don’t think men had it all their own way. 11th and 12th century English King’s would get it in the neck if they ignored their wives’ or mother’s advice. Henry II and John regularly got a kicking from Eleanor of Aquitaine.
An interesting and informative post, and these women were surprisingly (for the era), powerful, but we must be talking about a tiny fraction of the top 1% of women during these times. For the vast majority, life was predictably hard, unremittingly tedious, uneducated, risky, dangerous and potentially short.
There are many good examples of impressive Irish women in history, from Gráinne Mhaol in the 16th Century to feminist revolutionaries like Constance Markievicz in the early 1900s. Unfortunately the early years of independence betrayed them as Ireland retreated into deep social conservatism for several decades with all of the miseries and hardships that brought for women in particular.
And realistically, beyond the romanticism around famous individuals, there’s every chance that the experience of the vast women majority of women across history was closer to that hard existence, as @VinoVeritas suggests.
While I’m sure the Christmas pamper case was aimed at women, they didn’t go quite as far to say that and to give them credit, it could have been “just” a gift for someone ….
However, stereotypes are all over this one .