The use of books owned by medieval women: a contribution to a study of medieval nuns' reading in late medieval England

Tokunaga, Satoko (2001). The use of books owned by medieval women: a contribution to a study of medieval nuns' reading in late medieval England. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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There have been a number of recent studies of medieval women’s reading, particularly in respect of female book-ownership. The present thesis, owing much to these preceding studies, especially the list of books owned by medieval nuns compiled by David Bell, will explore what has not yet been adequately investigated: actual ‘use’ of the book by and for nuns in England. The main procedure of this research is to examine additions made in later hands in manuscripts and early printed books. The main argument of ‘book use’ will be developed in chapter three, analyzing many examples dating from the twelfth century till the dissolution, whereas the preceding chapters one and two will examine contents of books owned by nuns in the historical context and consider methodological problems in interpreting evidence. In particular, we will be reminded that ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ in the Middle Ages involve several levels of literacy, which require a different definition from our modern terminology. Even such a cautious assessment of evidence, however, will lead us to conclude that books had a variety of use and ‘reading’ was not uniform even in the nunneries.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography


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