Cover for  Gender in medieval places, spaces and thresholds

Publishing information

Date of first publication

Publishing information

Date of first publication
Physical Dimensions


This collection addresses the concept of gender in the middle ages through the study of place and space, exploring how gender and space may be mutually constructive and how individuals and communities make and are made by the places and spaces they inhabit. From womb to tomb, how are we defined and confined by gender and by space? Interrogating the thresholds between sacred and secular, public and private, enclosure and exposure, domestic and political, movement and stasis, the essays in this interdisciplinary collection draw on current research and contemporary theory to suggest new destinations for future study.


  • Foreword. The Virgin of Bethlehem, gender and space
    Anthony Bale
  • Introduction
    Victoria Blud, Diane Heath and Einat Klafter
  • 1. Religious women in the landscape: their roles in medieval Canterbury and its hinterland
    Sheila Sweetinburgh
  • 2. Space and place: archaeologies of female monasticism in later medieval Ireland
    Tracy Collins
  • 3. Making space for leprous nuns: Matthew Paris and the foundation of St. Mary de Pré, St. Albans
    Philippa Byrne
  • 4. On the threshold? The role of women in Lincolnshire’s late medieval parish guilds
    Claire Kennan
  • 5. Beyond the sea: medieval mystic space and early modern convents in exile
    Victoria Blud
  • 6. Men on pilgrimage – women adrift: thoughts on gender in sea narratives from early medieval Ireland
    Eivor Bekkhus
  • 7. ‘Yfallen out of heigh degree’: Chaucer’s Monk and crises of liminal masculinities
    Martin Laidlaw
  • 8. The feminine mystic: Margery Kempe’s pilgrimage to Rome as an imitatio Birgittae
    Einat Klafter
  • 9. ‘Unbynde her anoone’: The Lives of St. Margaret of Antioch and the lying-in space in late medieval England
    Róisín Donohoe
  • 10. Gendered spaces and female filth: Auda Fabri’s mystical heresy
    Kathryn Loveridge
  • 11. Shopping or scrimping? The contested space of the household in Middle English devotional literature
    Louise Campion
  • 12. Tombscape: the tomb of Lady Joan de Mohun in the crypt of Canterbury cathedral
    Diane Heath
  • 13. Women’s visibility and the ‘vocal gaze’ at windows, doors and gates in vitae from the thirteenth-century Low Countries
    Hannah Shepherd
  • 14. Women in the medieval wall paintings of Canterbury cathedral
    Jayne Wackett
  • 15. Commanding un-empty space: silence, stillness and scopic authority in the York Christ before Herod
    Daisy Black
  • Afterword
    Leonie V. Hicks

This series