Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 3793
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Richardson , Amanda.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Seeing Gender in Architecture: A Study of Queens' Apartments in English Royal Palaces c. 1160-1547
  • Source: Seeing Gender: Perspectives on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, King's College, London, January 4-6, 2002.. 2002.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Architecture- Secular Gender Palaces Queens
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 12- 13- 14- 15- 16
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  • Abstract: The under-application of archaeological theory in late medieval studies is unfortunate. Spatial analysis in particular, by revealing contemporary gender ideologies to be highly visible architecturally, can counteract the much lamented historical ‘invisibility’ of women. Accordingly, this paper will explore gendered space and imagery in medieval royal palaces in order to elucidate diachronic responses to the role of queens consort. Results indicate that this role, as exhibited in architecture, was essentially static, and that the late medieval court was a very male environment. The spatial isolation of royal women from public areas and the paucity of female imagery in halls, in particular, appear to represent an architectural manifestation of restricted access to power. Yet the imagery employed on seals and tombs often presented queens as authority figures, their self-identity and dynastic importance strongly expressed. Clearly the exercise of queenship depended on the personality of the queen and her relationship with her husband. But while the performance of kingship was equally affected by the holder of the office, a medieval queen faced more restrictions in terms of power and influence - restrictions that were made concrete in architecture and constantly reiterated in imagery. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference Organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation: King Alfred's College, Winchester
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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