Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bosworth Battlefield Showcases Medieval Women

The award winning Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is best known for its interactive exploration of battles, armour and medieval army life, but this year’s free entry exhibition shows a very different side of medieval life. It looks at the lives of medieval women and will be on display from February 2nd until December 30th 2011.

The exhibition, entitled ‘The Medieval Woman – instrument of the Devil, exulted above all angels’, looks at the roles of European women in the Middle Ages and how they were viewed in the eyes of the church and in the law. For much of the time girl power really did not feature in life as medieval women had their lives controlled by men, a girl obeyed her father and a wife was the property of her husband.

However there were some opportunities for women to make their own lives, although they were few and far between. In towns as well as the countryside, women worked in a wide range of trades, often with their husbands and fathers. Wealthy widows had a certain amount of independence - although they could be required by the King to remarry to ensure their lands were under male control - and the mothers and wives of important men could have enormous influence on politics.

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