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Identity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter brings together the full complexity of what it might have been like to have been a widow and forcefully reminds us that she was a woman at a particular stage of the lifecycle - sometimes the last. Since a widow's identity was multiple, numerous factors might have influenced it. Familial factors, such as birth, marriage and motherhood, could shape and define identity. The two most important works concerning the identity of women in England are Johns's recent study of twelfth-century noblewomen and J.C. Ward's article on noblewomen and family in the later Middle Ages. The authors draw attention to the use of names, descriptions, titles, seals and religious and secular patronage as possible indicators of the identity of women and widows, an approach employed in the chapter. The chapter attempts to deduce how Icelandic and Yorkshire widows were seen by others, and perhaps also how they saw themselves.

Keywords: Iceland; widow's identity; Yorkshire

10.1163/ej.9789004184718.i-494.34
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004184718.i-494.34
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