Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 9639
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Murray , Jacqueline.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Individualism and Consensual Marriage: Some Evidence from Medieval England
  • Source: Women, Marriage, and Family in Medieval Christendom: Essays in Memory of Michael M. Sheehan, C.S.B.  Edited by Constance M. Rousseau and Joel T. Rosenthal.  Western Michigan University, 1998.  Pages 121 - 151.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Essay
  • Subject (See Also): Consent Individual Marriage Pastoral Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 12- 13- 14- 15
  • Related Resources: Murray traces the role which pastoral manuals played in the dissemination of the Church's doctrine of consensual marriage to the lowest levels of English society, and the direct relationship which the practice of independent marriage had to increased individualism: the right of the individual to make moral decisions affecting his or her salvation, the responsibility of the church to aid and uphold that end, and the practical outcome of this doctrine in ordinary people's lives as they chose whom (or whom not to) marry. Murray bookends her discussion with the examples of Margery Paston, who endured ostracism and disinheritance to make her own "lewd" marriage with her family's steward, Richard Calle, and of Margery's aunt Elizabeth who endured physical abuse when she refused to marry the man chosen for her, but Murray's real interest lies in understanding how women (and men) like the Pastons knew of their rights and thus her essay mainly explicates the evolution of English pastoral manuals following the pronouncements of Alexander III and the Decretals of Gregory IX on marriage (12th and 13th centuries) up through the fifteenth century." From the review written by Miriam Shadis of "Women, Marriage, and Family in Medieval Christendom," "Medieval Review" (TMR ID: 96.12.11). [Reproduced by permission of the "Medieval Review."].
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  • Author's Affiliation: University of Windsor
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1998.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 1879288656
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