Memory and Gender in Medieval Europe, 900-1200

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Tracing the oral and written memories of families and monastic communities through chronicles, saints' lives, and material objects such as jewellery and memorial stones, Elisabeth van Houts argues that in the Middle Ages, as now, the knowledge of the past was shaped by men as well as women. Men may have dominated the pages of literature but many of the stories they wrote were told to them by women. The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 provides a case study to illustrate the ways in which one memorable event reverberated through the generations. In England and Normandy, men and women remembered their ancestors' experiences: the worst were kept alive orally for a long time before they were written down, the best were put on paper straight away.

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