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The role and status of women is one of the most surprising elements of early medieval times. Arranged marriages, child brides, and wife-beating as a right made this era less than ideal, but women were not merely victims. They contributed to their society and even tried to influence events around them.

See Regina Jeffers’s blog for why I argue that calling all medieval women chattel grossly oversimplifies their reality.

19th century illustration of court ladies

From Braun and Schneider’s 19th century History of Costume (public domain image)