Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

Article of the Month

Indexers select an article or essay at the beginning of each month that is outstanding in its line of argument, wealth of significances, and writing style. We particularly look for pieces that will be useful as course readings.

November 2017 [Posted November 2018]

Coronation of Henry the Lion and Matilda
Coronation of Henry the Lion and Matilda, daughter of Henry II, 12th century, Wolfenb├╝ttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 105 Noviss. 2┬░, fol. 171v. (Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

Jasperse, Jitske. "Matilda, Leonor and Joanna: The Plantagenet Sisters and the Display of Dynastic Connections through Material Culture." Journal of Medieval History 43, 5 (2017): 523-547.

Abstract: "The material culture related to Duchess Matilda of Saxony, Queen Leonor of Castile and Countess Joanna of Toulouse (and former Queen of Sicily) offers a rich resource that allows us to understand how, when and why they connected themselves to their father, Henry II of England. The objects studied in this article prompt significant questions regarding the relation between material culture and royal women, which allow us to explore the formative phases in women's lives as well as their roles in the promotion and construction of a dynastic consciousness. Even though the sisters probably acted separately, they did so with a shared awareness of their positions as royal daughters and the need to communicate this collectively. By centering on the three sisters' objects, this article proposes that the study of material culture is crucial for a better understanding of the co-operation between siblings and can contribute to a more nuanced interpretation of power."
[Reproduced from the journal page on the Taylor & Francis website.]