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emphasis on complex interactions of the political context of textual production, increasing attentions paid to critiques of wealth, power and gender definition in the twelfth century, and the origination of a new language to effect this.5 The roots of this new attention to the language which articulated queenly power, innovated in the writings of William of Malmesbury, lie in literature commissioned by royal female patrons in the specific political climate of late eleventh-century England. A key to Stafford’s approach is the importance of the female life cycle in

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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literary sources 3 Patronage and power welfth-century noblewomen exerted power and influence through cultural patronage, and scholars have begun to clarify ways that noblewomen were important. Janet Nelson has stressed that, although women were excluded from the formal religious and political authority most often associated with literacy, they still participated in the culture of literacy.1 June McCash has similarly argued that noblewomen overcame socio-cultural obstacles to participate in cultural patronage in the various literary, religious, artistic and

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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conclusion 10 Conclusion he place of noblewomen in the twelfth century was not marginalised by the increasing shift to patrilineal primogeniture and the bio-politics of lineage, two of the key broader changes in the way that society was organised. These were seismic shifts in societal organisation, rightly identified by Bloch, Duby, Goody and Holt as fundamental.1 Within these changes the sources show that, increasingly, the place and roles of noblewomen were articulated with greater clarity through the definition of appropriate gender roles. These wider

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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interested in explaining queenly power in terms of the impact of the female life cycle and the specific political and cultural contexts of late eleventh-century England. In particular Stafford and Nelson are clear on the antipathy of male clerical writers to the portrayal of powerful women, a phenomenon not unique to eleventh-century England.5 Constructions of male power and influence as lords in their own right rested on enfeoffment of their lands or inheritance, or knighting. Both were the keys to public function, as well as office holding. For women marriage as entrée

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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indicators of the personal, social and political power of twelfth-century noblewomen. Several issues affect the interpretation of charter evidence. The use of documentary records became more routine, as did the formulas which were used to express 82 witnessing commonplace happenings, and phrases were developed to express what may in fact not have occurred.14 Thus charters may have been statements of pretension rather than expressions of real power and authority, and therefore propaganda.15 Thus witness lists may have also been pretensions to power rather than evidence

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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of the source material itself, but examples of other powerful countesses who acted in similar roles to those of the countesses of Chester do show useful patterns in the way that women of comital rank exerted power throughout the female life cycle. C 53 noblewomen and power The Chester evidence The earls of Chester were among the greatest nobles of the Norman and Angevin realms, the high political élite of twelfth-century society. Their power was rooted in extensive land holdings in Cheshire and beyond, which by 1086 consisted of land scattered throughout

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
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conflicting, and possibly competing, multiple identities and contexts of power. The following analysis therefore considers BedosRezak’s approach, but also takes account of the wider methodological approaches of Bates, Stafford and Short. Chassel’s study of twelfthcentury French seals attempted to analyse the spread of seals within a framework which took account of specific political and cultural contexts. Thus he saw the spread of seals from the seigneurie to the castellanry in France in, for example, Berry as a product of the internal rivalries within Berry.18 Whilst this

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Thinking, feeling, making

the nineteenth century onwards. 7 While current trends for artisanal, hand-made goods could be accused of commodifying both the concept and the products of craftwork, packaging and selling everything from craft beer to home-made candles at high prices, previous craft movements were more explicitly connected to progressive politics. Contemporary ‘craft’ is indebted to the Arts and Crafts movement that emerged in Britain around 1880, but the so-called hipster subculture does not always share the revolutionary spirit

in Dating Beowulf
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of child oblation, a practice of permanent separation between parent and child that occurred around the age of six. Garrison argues that ‘while attachment theory and modern grief studies undoubtedly shed some light on medieval experiences of grief and [early-childhood] separation’, because early English peoples participated in ‘a range of non-parental child-rearing practices’ such as fosterage, court education, and political hostage taking, the findings of contemporary child psychology ‘need to be qualified by attention to differences in [early medieval] family

in Dating Beowulf

, Christianity was organised in ways that were local but nevertheless replicable anywhere: In effect, early medieval Christianity was neither centralized nor systematized. Not a single, uniform cultural package to be adopted or rejected as an entity, it comprised a repertoire of beliefs, social practices, and organizational forms that could be adopted and adapted piecemeal. Thus Christianity jumped from one cultural and political context to another, repeatedly mutating and reconstituting itself in ways that preserved its core features. Differently put, a religion with an

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture