© 2008

Communal Discord, Child Abduction, and Rape in the Later Middle Ages

  • Authors

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Alice’s Evidence

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-15
    2. Jeremy Goldberg
      Pages 21-31
    3. Jeremy Goldberg
      Pages 33-44
    4. Jeremy Goldberg
      Pages 81-102
    5. Jeremy Goldberg
      Pages 103-114
    6. Jeremy Goldberg
      Pages 115-126
  3. Sex and the City

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-127
    2. Jeremy Goldberg
      Pages 129-145
    3. Jeremy Goldberg
      Pages 159-175
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 177-239

About this book


Did medieval women have the power to choose? This is a question at the heart of this book which explores three court cases from Yorkshire in the decades after the Black Death. Alice de Rouclif was a child heiress made to marry the illegitimate son of the local abbot and then abducted by her feudal superior. Agnes Grantham was a successful businesswoman ambushed and assaulted in a forest whilst on her way to dine with the Master of St Leonard's Hospital. Alice Brathwell was a respectable widow who attracted the attentions of a supposedly aristocratic conman. These are their stories.


Black Death childhood Middle Ages

About the authors

Jeremy Goldberg is Reader in Medieval History at the University of York.

Bibliographic information


"Goldberg's book has a little of everything - detailed archival work, courtroom drama, theoretical speculation, microhistory, macrohistory, every social class possible and plenty of gender groups, biography, and late medieval England, all in the service of a question about the legal history of rape. It's like a stylistic melding of Natalie Zemon Davis's Martin Guerre with Duby's William Marshal: Flower of Chivalry. The cast of characters in the beginning is a great touch." - Bonnie Wheeler, English and Medieval Studies, Southern Methodist University

"The book gives us a good picture of how a court case of this sort worked in practice, with lots of insights into actual and potential complications on the societal and legal levels." - Speculum

"Goldberg's study will be of great interest to specialists of pre-modern canon law, especially in regard to women's right to choose to marry or to have sex, as well as to the power men may exercise over them. In this regard, Jermey Goldberg's thorough investigation is truly illuminating, not only for its patient and precise reconstructions but also for its numerous and extremely carefully examined sources, and for the forty pages of endnotes that constitute a fascinating cornucopia of further reflections and discussions." - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching