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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines questions of remarriage and the factors that affected it in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Iceland and Yorkshire. Before considering remarriage, its significance for the Icelandic and Yorkshire widows and the factors that impacted on it, an overview of marital demographics would be beneficial. Icelandic Social status is another possible factor connected with lordship and family interests. Status is its own form of social 'wealth'. High-ranking widows could have brought advantageous connections to a husband in both Iceland and England, and thus might be expected to remarry more than other widows. The one known instance of attempted coercion and refusal of consent in Iceland was purely political. A widow's ability to withhold consent depended largely on the backing of others, normally male kin or occasionally a chieftain.

Keywords: high-ranking widows; Iceland; remarriage; Yorkshire



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