One of the key aims of this book is to offer a synthesis of the main findings of current research on age. It is intended as an outline survey and consequently the scope of the book is deliberately broad: it covers two centuries, considers the large land mass of Western Europe with its diverse languages, customs and cultures, and ranges across the social spectrum. The book focuses solely on the Christian West, including consideration on the extent to which social rank influenced life expectancy, the methods and goals of upbringing, marriage patterns and funerary memorialisation. The book also demonstrates how extensive that range can be. Examples are drawn from manorial accounts, tax assessments, spiritual writings, didactic literature, romances, elegies, art and architecture. The main thrust is that age formed an essential part of a person's identity in late medieval Europe. During adolescence, men and women progressively took on their adult roles. Three chapters are devoted to educating girls. The book discusses young people's period of transition between childhood and adulthood. It draws attention to pious young women who fought against marriage and wanted a chaste life. Divergences between northern and southern Europe in terms of marriage patterns, family formation, opportunities for women and attitudes towards death and its rituals are discussed. The book shows that attitudes towards the undeveloped young meant that children had few legal responsibilities. Another aim of the book is to consider the changing opportunities and possibilities for people as they progressed through life.
, and Shamefastness. Elizabeth was thoroughly involved in the action.
Chastity, claiming that the queen had chosen the best life – that is, one of
celibacy – handed her Cupid’s bow to shoot with as she pleased, since ‘none
could wound her highness’s heart’. ‘Then sith (o Queen) chastelife is thus
thy choice, " And that thy heart is free from bondage yoke, " Thou shalt (good
Queen) by my consent and voice, " Have half the spoil, take either bow or
cloak.’ ‘The song sung by Chastity’s ‘maids’ reiterated in line after line ‘chastelife’, contrasted with ‘lewd life
retain some form of institutional control. However, there are enough documents referring to the necessity of the ecclesiastical interference in the affairs of a hospital in response to a complaint about their non-compliance with a rule to suggest that the imposed rules may have been more prescriptive than strictly obeyed or enforced.
The focus of any rule imposed on, or created by, a hospital was on the apostolic value of ministering to those in need outside of the community. The Rule of S. Augustine stressed the need to lead a chastelife of
Eliot. In the centuries between, his favourite authors would have included
Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, Blake, and Arnold, rather than
any novelists. He worked hard at university, reading widely, painting a good
deal, and generally leading a fairly austere and sexually chastelife. On
graduating with a respectable degree in 1963, he took up a place at the
Slade and things started to change.
The art-school world
Morality, mortality and masculinity in Sabbath’s Theater
man of his age for?’ (Jacobson 1999: 140, 200, 140).
While Sabbath ‘devote[s] [him]self to fucking the way a monk devotes
himself to God’, styling himself ‘The Monk of Fucking’ (Roth 1995:
60), Ritz actually becomes ‘a fucking monk’, living a chastelife in a
Benedictine monastery for a while, only to discover that, paradoxically,
‘renunciation [can] turn on you, tempting you with visions far more
voluptuous than any you have to deal with in the ordinary sublunary
world of regulation sin’ (Jacobson 1999: 253, 240). Whereas Sabbath,
with characteristic perversity, is
accommodation. This he did, assigning to the women a special dwelling,
rather better appointed but more secluded, near the canonry of the
Twelve Apostles. Here he admitted not only foreign women, but poor
citizens who were bereft of any resources. Furthermore, if any women emerged
from the haunts of vice, provided they were repentant and wanted to lead
a chastelife henceforth, blessed Raimondo did not hesitate to receive
without any afterthoughts. It is a carefree feeling which reveals a certain
artistic innocence; for once, the ‘chastelife’ and the ‘frivolous Muse’ are
working, not against, but with each other.18
17 Ovid, Heroides and Amores, trans. Grant Showerman, Loeb Classical Library (London,
1963), ll. 1–10, p. 391.
18 Georg Luck, The Latin love elegy (London, 1979), pp. 172–3.
GRIBBEN 9781526113245 PRINT.indd 165
Mícheál Mac Craith
Peter Green, on the other hand, adopts a much lighter tone in his critique:
So wide-ranging a spectrum of types and
responsibility, and this chapter will indicate the new powers obtained
as wife and mother.
Not everyone married in the later Middle Ages, or wanted
to do so. The clergy and those in religious orders were excluded from
marriage by their vows of celibacy. Chapter 5 drew
attention to pious young women who fought against marriage and wanted a
chastelife. 29 In addition
there was a
order to create the same in their imagination. 106 Similarly a small number of women,
almost invariably widows of aristocratic or mercantile rank, opted for a
chastelife, following the various offices of the day, but without
retreating from the world. By taking a vow before their bishop (or his
deputy) they became known as vowesses (; ‘Widowhood, poverty,
and old age’  deposition of
the offering up of a chastelife in the fire of love, an action whose
eschatological dimension is enhanced with an allusion to Rev 14:4 (Gen
8:21; II, 2030–4):
Offerente autem Noe holocausta, odoratus
est Dominus odorem suauitatis , quia uel passionem
beatorum martyrum uel uitam fidelium uirginalem per Christi