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on 9 November 2009
I find not only some of the factual information a bit dodgy but also the presentation. Examples for the former:
Mate refers to `slaves' in Britain at the time of the Norman invasion which I think is not an appropriate term, and implies that Christianity was introduced into Britain around 800 (blithely ignoring the influx with the Romans, Celtic monks and St. Augustine & co.). Mate looks at the period through modern eyes, applying values that are inappropriate to the time e.g.`... abbesses never questioned their inability to become priests.' And similar.

Regarding her use of English, Mate treats `male' as an adjective or as a noun, as the mood takes her. `Domesday' is mostly a noun and I don't think she ever refers to the Domesday book. Some sentences could do with judiciously placed commas because without them you have to read them at least twice to understand what she means, and occasionally a sentence in the present tense pops up in a description (past tense) of the period.

I had to look up some vocabulary that was unfamiliar to me (e.g presentments, truck wages) but Mate doesn't doesn't always use them as I understand the meaning from my dictionary. I read `.... in 1086, at the time of the Domesday inquest, ...' (this is not what I understand an inquest to be).' And I read `fine' where I'm sure she means simply `tax'or `levy'.

Mate quotes various studies which have proved what, for me, is the blindingly obvious - `In a military society .... women were at a distinct disadvantage since they were not trained to fight.' `She therefore concluded that women's chief sphere of action was the home'. Is that necessary in a book of only 100 pages?

And as a final personal comment I refuse to believe that prostitues in the late Middle Ages `were often forced to wear distinctive clothing'. I reckon it was the same then as now - they chose to be easily identifiable.
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on 8 October 2015
Excellent quality book and came very quickly!
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on 17 May 2010
In spite of the "dust" problems the book managed to come within the time period.
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on 26 September 2004
This book has much to offers to specialists in medieval history, to understand and assess her work, we need first to examine the prior debate about the condition of women in the later middle ages.
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