Siria's Reviews > Women as Scribes: Book Production and Monastic Reform in Twelfth-Century Bavaria

Women as Scribes by Alison I. Beach
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's review
Sep 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: european-history, german-history, history, nonfiction, womens-history
Read from September 01 to 03, 2012

The codicological and palaeographical parts of this book are a little outside of my particular wheelhouse, so I can't speak to the standard of Beach's analysis there, but overall I thought this was a clear and elegant overview of women's involvement in book production at three southern German monastic houses during the twelfth century Renaissance. Beach demonstrates that religious women were active participants in this process to a much greater degree than had previously been thought, and argues against the assumption that any unsigned manuscript must automatically be assigned to a male author or scribe because one could automatically identify female handwriting as it was "delicate, irregular, nervous, and light." Uh huh. Anyway, while I would have liked to see a bit more direct comparison between these German nuns and canonesses and women scribes in other parts of Europe, I still found this an interesting and valuable study.

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09/01/2012 page 10
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