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Village Women About 90% of all Medieval Women lived in rural areas and were therefore involved in some form of farm work. However, women were paid less.

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Presentation on theme: "Village Women About 90% of all Medieval Women lived in rural areas and were therefore involved in some form of farm work. However, women were paid less."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Village Women About 90% of all Medieval Women lived in rural areas and were therefore involved in some form of farm work. However, women were paid less for doing the same job as men. A man could get 8 pence a day for reaping; women received 5 pence. For hay making, men would earn 6 pence a day while women got 4 pence. In a male dominated society, no woman would openly complain about this disparity. Medieval guilds frequently barred women, making it difficult for them to advance into a trade. The closest to a trade for Medieval Women was the opportunity to work with textiles, (linens and clothing).

3 Poor Women For many women, a life as a servant for the rich was the best they could hope for. Such work was demanding and poorly rewarded. The law, set by men, also greatly limited the freedom of women. Women were  not allowed to marry without their parents' consent  could own no business with special permission  not allowed to divorce their husbands  could not own property of any kind unless they were widows  could not inherit land from their parents' if they had any surviving brothers

4 Poor Women, continued Children from poor families would have worked from the earliest age possible; they were treated as adults from the age of ten or eleven. (Even the concept of “adolescence” was not “invented” until the 18 th century.) However, many girls from poor families did not get married until they were in their twenties, marrying later than girls from wealthy families. The poorer families needed as many working for them as was possible; a daughter getting married would have deprived her family of a worker. Once married, a poor woman had to look after her children and continue doing her day-to-day work-- both in the home and on the land. Many women from poor families did not live beyond the age of forty.

5 Invention of the Damsel Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives

6 Famous Women of the Middle Ages Medieval Queens  Matilda of Flanders Good Queen Maude Empress Matilda Timeline of Empress Matilda Matilda of Boulogne Eleanor of Aquitaine Berengaria of Navarre Isabelle of Angouleme Eleanor of Provence Eleanor of Castile Isabella of France Philippa of Hainault Mary de Bohun Catherine of Valois Margaret of Anjou Elizabeth Woodville Anne Neville Matilda of Flanders Good Queen Maude Empress Matilda Timeline of Empress Matilda Matilda of Boulogne Eleanor of Aquitaine Berengaria of Navarre Isabelle of Angouleme Eleanor of Provence Eleanor of Castile Isabella of France Philippa of Hainault Mary de Bohun Catherine of Valois Margaret of Anjou Elizabeth Woodville Anne Neville Other Notables Anna ComnenaAnna Comnena Heloise Hildegard of Bingen Julian of Norwich Christine de Pizan Jane Shore Alice Perrers Katherine Swynford Margery Kempe Joan of Arc Lady Godiva Heloise Hildegard of Bingen Julian of Norwich Christine de Pizan Jane Shore Alice Perrers Katherine Swynford Margery Kempe Joan of Arc Lady Godiva women/index.htm

7 Medieval Noble Women  Young Medieval Noble Women The duties of the young Medieval noble women would be to look after clothes and the assist ladies with their dressing and coiffure. Some housewifely duties such as preserving fruits and household management would be taught, to prepare them for their duties as a married woman.  High ranking young women would take on the role of ladies-in-waiting and were taught French.  Young noble women would also be taught the principles of the Medieval Code of Chivalry and Courtly Love and would join the spectators at jousting tournaments.Code of ChivalryCourtly Lovejousting tournaments

8 Noble Women, continued  The Education of Medieval Noble Women The education of Medieval Noble Women concentrated on the practical as opposed to academic.  Young noble women as young as seven girls would be sent away from their home to live with another noble family. There she would be taught a range of subjects and skills. Manners and etiquette were of prime importance, including how to curtsey and how to mix with the greatest nobles in the land.  Time would be spent learning how to dance and ride. Archery was also taught to young noble women.  The young girls were expected to act as servants to the older ladies of the castle.

9 Noble Women, continued  The Age of Consent in Medieval Times The romance of Courtly love was completely opposite to the practicalities of Medieval marriage.  The Age of Consent - With parental permission it was legal for boys to marry at fourteen and girls at twelve. A betrothal often took place when the prospective bride and groom were as young as 7 years old and-- in the case of Higher nobility-- many were betrothed as babies. But a marriage was only legal once the marriage had been consummated.

10 Noble Women, continued  Noble Women and Marriage Noble women had very little, if any, choice in who her husband might be. Marriages were frequently arranged so that both families involved would benefit. Marriages would be arranged to bring prestige or wealth to the family of Medieval Noble Women.  Marriage for love was a rare occurrence. Medieval Noble Women were expected to bring a dowry to the marriage. A dowry was an amount of money, goods, and property that the bride would bring to the marriage. The law gave a husband full rights over his wife, whether she was a Noble woman or a commoner. She effectively became his property.  A wealthy marriage of a Noble woman was celebrated by nine days of feasting and jousting.

11 Noble Women, continued  Married Medieval Noble Women After marriage Medieval Noble Women were expected to run the households but their main duty was to provide children.  Large families were the norm in Medieval Times as the mortality rate for children and babies was so high. Many Noble woman made arrangements for the care of their children in case they themselves died during childbirth.  The life expectancy of a woman in Medieval Times was just forty years. Most Medieval woman would become pregnant between 4 and 8 times.  A woman during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages would expect to lose at least one child.

12 Noble Women, continued  Appearance of Medieval Noble Women The appearance of a noble woman during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages was important. A woman aged quickly during this era due to constant child bearing. Numerous pregnancies took their toll on a woman's body.  The diet of Medieval Noble Women during the Medieval times of the Middle Ages lacked Vitamin C which resulted in bad teeth and bleeding gums.  To retain the appearance of youth a Noble woman of the middle Ages might even dye her hair yellow with a mixture of saffron, cumin seed, celandine and oil. Face make-up was applied to acquire a pale look. A pale complexion was so desirable that women were bled to achieve the desired look. Face paint made from plant roots and leaves was also applied.

13 Biographies: Medieval Women  ry/bio/blbio_list_medieval.htm ry/bio/blbio_list_medieval.htm  in_the_Middle_Ages in_the_Middle_Ages  1-ladies-of-the-european-middle- ages.php 1-ladies-of-the-european-middle- ages.php  By trade or position/occupation : ddle_ages_biographies_women.htm ddle_ages_biographies_women.htm

14 Case Study: Eleanor of Aquitaine 2.html

15 Eleanor, in other words....  French, 1122/  Known For: Independence and plotting against her husband, the King of England  Sex Appeal: Wealth, charm, and an independent streak a mile wide  Eleanor was high-born, of course, but got super lucky when she inherited a duchy and a county in the best part of France, which was also the best part of Europe at the time. That was rare and sweet enough, but it didn’t take long for the dogs to come sniffing around, being single and all, and she was snapped up by the King of France. Nice.  However, Louis VII was a bit immature for her and so she agitated for a divorce on the grounds of kissing cousins (well, that and she couldn’t come up with a male heir, which was part of the reason for her existence) and, since they had buckets of money, they had the Pope annul the marriage. Evidence that this was pure malarkey, and that Eleanor was a woman of independent and fiery spirit, is found in her second marriage: to another cousin, this time the future king of England, Henry II.  With one hot passion meeting another hot passion, they quickly produced eight children, including five boys, two of whom became kings of England and famous to boot – Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland. Of course, passion has a dark side as well, and when Eleanor wanted to share in the ruling and do what ever she damn well pleased, she became so estranged from Henry that she helped her sons foment war against their father – several times – even after he had locked her up in the tallest tower of the biggest castle…  Eleanor was very well educated, and not just for a woman. Plus, she could ride and hunt and hawk as well as any knight and kept a vibrant court, sponsoring the best and sexiest artists in the land. She was the maker of fashion, and inheriting the biggest chunk of land in the most prestigious corner of Europe gave her the cash and prestige to carry through her projects. She also had the proverbial testicular fortitude to accompany her first husband on campaign to the distant Second Crusade in the Eastern Mediterranean, where she was captured but able to extricate herself and a bunch of friends. Her daughter Matilda married future Holy Roman Emperor Henry the Lion of Saxony (a lot of Leos here). After her second husband’s death, she served as regent for Richard the Lionheart, who was her favorite son anyway, and helped her lesser son John rule until her death, after which it all went pear-shaped for him.Leos  And she was a knight magnet; medieval knights were attracted to glory like fleas to the Bubonic Plague. Eleanor did England’s military reputation a favor by ransoming the greatest knight of all time, William Marshall, before he became the William Marshall (see Top 10 Knights of the Middle Ages). On her way from home from picking a bride for her son in Castile, was accompanied by the greatest French knight of the time, Mercadier. What helped her was that Eleanor was universally proclaimed as perpulchra, which means “more than beautiful”, or in current parlance “super hot”. When she was around 30, Bernard de Ventadour, a big-time troubadour, called Eleanor “gracious, lovely, the embodiment of charm,” extolling her “lovely eyes and noble countenance”.  Eleanor made an impact in the area of court manners. In The Art of Courtly Love, Andreas Capellanus (Andrew the Chaplain) refers to Eleanor’s court of Poitiers. He claims that several women, including Eleanor and her daughter Marie de Champagne, would sit and listen to the quarrels of lovers at court and serve as a jury to the questions that revolved around romantic love.


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