By Stephanie Hollis
This learn of literature by way of clerics who have been writing to, for, or aboutAnglo-Saxon girls within the eighth and early ninth centuries indicates thatthe place of girls had already declined sharply sooner than the Conquest a declare at variance with the normal scholarly view. Stephanie Hollis argues that Pope Gregory's letter to Augustine and Theodore's Penitentialimplicitly express the early church's view of ladies as subordinate to males, and continues that a lot early church writing displays conceptions of womanhood that had hardened into proven ordinary by way of the later heart a while. To help her argument the writer examines the indigenous place of ladies ahead of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, and considers purposes for the early church's concessions in admire of ladies. Emblematic of advancements within the conversion interval, the institution and eventual suppression of abbess-ruled double monasteries kinds a different concentration of this research. STEPHANIE HOLLIS is Senior Lecturer in Early English, Universityof Auckland, New Zealand.
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Extra resources for Anglo-Saxon Women and the Church: Sharing a Common Fate
Few would now venture to argue that the church improved the lot of women. "2 Dorothy Stenton was not the first to have been struck by the contrast between "masterful and independent Anglo-Saxon ladies" and the "legally dependent but still masterful" women of the 12th and 13th centuries. Her study, The English Woman in History, which appeared in 1957, offered the first fully developed and 1 T. Wright, Womankind in Western Europe (London, 1869); quoted C. , Women in Anglo-Saxon England and the Impact of 1066, paperback edn.
I refer comparatively to OE verse, primarily to Beowulf, Maxims (possibly compiled in the reign of Alfred but containing some proverbs identified as common Germanic), and to three short lyrics, Wulf and Eadwacer, The Wife's Lament and The Husband's Message, which are sometimes dated 8th/9th century. My use of OE verse is assailable because I assume that certain motifs which have OI analogues represent the continuity of a tradition that is of Germanic origin, but I accept that pre-industrial cultures, though conservative, are not static, and I do not intend to imply that OE verse preserves without alteration traditions that were current in the early AS period.
Whitelock, The Beginnings of English Society (Harmondsworth, 1952). Page 3 development of military feudalism in the 11th century assisted the implementation of those aspects of the church's teachings on women that reinforced their subjection, so the misogyny that the church inherited from the early Fathers found points of contact with the unconverted societies with which missionaries came into contact, and that it achieved social effectiveness by virtue of its fusion with existing inequalities.