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Medieval myths, medieval women

middle ages myths
did bathe, up until the Black Death, then stopped
E.g. bathing up until the Black Death, and diverse roles for women

Emma Goldman on prostitution

To this must be added the following from Dr. Sanger's work: "Pope Clement II. issued a bull that prostitutes would be tolerated if they pay a certain amount of their earnings to the Church. "Pope Sixtus IV. was more practical; from one single brothel, which he himself had built, he received an income of 20,000 ducats."

during the Middle Ages. The conditions in the latter period are particularly interesting, inasmuch as prostitution was organized into guilds, presided over by a brothel Queen. These guilds employed strikes as a medium of improving their condition and keeping a standard price

"The wife who married for money, compared with the prostitute," says Havelock Ellis, "is the true scab. She is paid less, gives much more in return in labor and care, and is absolutely bound to her master. The prostitute never signs away the right over her own person, she retains her freedom and personal rights, nor is she always compelled to submit to a man's embrace."


In fact a married woman in business had two advantages over her husband. First, she had the choice of taking full responsibility for her actions and the debts incurred in her business (the "femme sole"), or of placing the responsibility on her husband. Additionally, in 1363 in London, a city ordinance declared that men had to keep to one trade while women were free to follow as many as they chose.

IN the 1300's women were practicing some trades that were later restricted to men. There were women barbers, apothecaries, armorers, shipwrights, tailors and spurriers. In Paris we find records of women in building trades, such as masons, carpenters, makers of doors and diggers of gravel. However nearly all trades had fewer women than men and in many trades the number declined as time went on. In 1420 n London, only 20 out of 300 brewers were female.

Nuremberg: The city council provided and paid for the services of a midwife for every indigent mother

women ran brewing

history of bathing

English $1000/year medieval income
medieval work hours medieval workday

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2013 05:11 am (UTC)
Hurrah, I love these links! One of my earliest favorite history books was Frances and Joseph Gies's Women in the Middle Ages, which is quite a slim volume and very readable. The periods I find most interesting are before and after the medieval period, however, so I'm pretty uninformed about it--I hope you end up posting more about it!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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