Introduction
in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm

This book explores the place of noblewomen in twelfth-century English and, to a lesser extent, Norman society. It also investigates the roles of noblewomen within lordship and in so doing clarifies important aspects of noblewomen's power. The analytical framework upon which the book is constructed draws on recent theoretical developments in the history of women and power and utilises traditional scholarly approaches to the study of the twelfth century. In so doing, it re-defines the nature of twelfth-century lordship. Therefore, it is intended as a contribution to the debate over the role and meaning of female power in the context of the interaction of gender and lordship in twelfth-century society.

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