Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 1782
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Spear , Valerie.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Change and Decay? The Nunnery and the Secular World in Late Medieval England
  • Source: Our Medieval Heritage: Essays in Honour of John Tillotson for His 60th Birthday.  Edited by Linda Rasmussen, Valerie Spear, and Dianne Tillotson.  Merton Priory Press, 2002.  Pages 15 - 29.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Lay Piety Monasticism Monasticism- Suppression of Patronage, Ecclesiastical Women in Religion
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 13- 14- 15- 16
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  • Illustrations: Seven figures. Note that illustrations are on the web site (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear.htm) only. They are not in the printed volume. Figure one (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear1.htm) "The remains of Marrick Priory in their setting in the Yorkshire Dales." Figure two (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear2.htm) "Ecclesiastical remnants among the farm and now youth centre of Marrick Priory." Figure three (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear3.htm) "A church tower and Gothic doorway in Marrick Priory farm." Figure four (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear4.htm) "Marrick Priory farm, with gravestones from its 19th century use as a parish church." Figure five (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear5.htm) "The painted reredos of Romsey Abbey." Figure six (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear6.htm) "Detail of the abbess on the painted reredos of Romsey Abbey." Figure seven (http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/spear/spear7.htm) "Closer detail of the abbess and her scroll on the painted reredos of Romsey Abbey."
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  • Abstract: The swift and relatively bloodless Dissolution of the English monasteries between 1536 and 1539 remains a topic of lively debate, with historians still speculating on the reasons for the apparent lack of public resistance to the overthrow of a deeply-rooted system. There is a popular notion, for example, that the public accepted the fall of the religious houses because it considered monasticism to have become too tainted by the secular world to be worthy of defence. My article focuses upon female monasticism, using records from various nunneries to argue that signs of secular influences there, at least, were not necessarily interpreted as evidence of irresponsibility or impiety by the public. It also suggests some possible approaches for further research into the suppressions. [Reproduced by permission of both the author and the publisher. The collection's Website is available at http://arts.anu.edu.au/medievalheritage/.]
  • Author's Affiliation: Australian National University
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 1898937559
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