Siria's Reviews > Women in Frankish Society: Marriage and the Cloister, 500 to 900: Marriage and the Cloister, 500-900

Women in Frankish Society by Suzanne Fonay Wemple
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's review
May 14, 08

bookshelves: french-history, history, religious-history, womens-history
Read in May, 2008

Given that this book was originally written in 1980, I definitely have to give it some leeway in terms of outdated its theoretical structure is. That said, if this were not the only basic introduction to Merovingian women and religion which the university library had to offer, I would not have ploughed through this all the way to the end. I thought the style of her writing was somewhat clunky, many of her conclusions not supported by the material, and flat out disagreed with her views on hagiography. Whoever read the book before me must have agreed, because there are a series of exclamation marks in the margins all the way through the text. I would still have regarded it as an adequate pointer to the relevant primary sources on a field which is new to me; however, even that usefulness was severely hindered by the fact that a number of the footnotes are mixed up, or reference the wrong page of a particular text. This is a definite problem when your Latin is as weak as mine is—I'd really rather not have to go wading through volumes of the Scriptorum rerum merovingicarum in an attempt to find out which line of a vita she actually meant to reference. I really hope I can find something better than this from which to work.

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