Dunn 2013 Women

Title Information

Author: Caroline Dunn

Title: Stolen Women in Medieval England

Subtitle: Rape, Abduction and Adultery, 1100-1500

Place: Cambridge

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Year: 2013

Pages: 272pp.

Series: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought, Fourth Series, No. 87

ISBN: 9781107017009 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: High Middle Ages, Late Middle Ages | English History | Prosecution: Laws

Full Text

Link: Google Books (Limited Preview)

Additional Information

Author: Caroline Dunn, Department of History, Clemson University


  List of tables and figures (p. vi)
  Preface (p. vii)
  List of abbreviations (p. x)
  Introduction (p. 1)
  1 Laws and Legal Definitions (p. 18)
  2 Rape (p. 52)
  3 Abduction and Forced Marriage (p. 82)
  4 Elopement (p. 98)
  5 Adultery (p. 120)
  6 Retaliatory Abductions and Malicious Legal Proceedings (p. 161)
  Conclusion (p. 192)
  Appendix I: Ravishment legislation (p. 196)
  Appendix II: Sources of ravishment cases (p. 204)
  Bibliography (p. 231)
  Index (p. 254)

Description: »This study of illicit sexuality in medieval England explores links between marriage and sex, law and disorder, and property and power. Some medieval Englishwomen endured rape or were kidnapped for forced marriages, yet most ravished women were married and many 'wife-thefts' were not forced kidnappings but cases of adultery fictitiously framed as abduction by abandoned husbands. In pursuing the themes of illicit sexuality and non-normative marital practices, this work analyses the nuances of the key Latin term raptus and the three overlapping offences that it could denote: rape, abduction and adultery. This investigation broadens our understanding of the role of women in the legal system; provides a means for analysing male control over female bodies, sexuality and access to the courts; and reveals ways in which female agency could, on occasion, manoeuvre around such controls.« (Source: Cambridge University Press)


Armstrong-Partida, Michelle. Medieval Feminist Forum 49(1) (2013): 85-87. – Full Text: Iowa Research Online (Restricted Access)

Bieler, Sam. Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books (September 2013). – Full Text: Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books (Free Access)

Butler, Sara M. Journal of British Studies 52(4) (October 2013): 1049-1051. – Full Text: Cambridge Journals Online (Restricted Access)

Graham-Matheson, Helen. Gender & History 25(2) (August 2013). – Full Text: Wiley Online Library (Restricted Access)

Hoareau-Dodinau, Jacqueline. sehepunkte. Rezensionsjournal für die Geschichtswissenschaften 13(7-8) (July-August 2013). – Full Text: sehepunkte (Free Access)

McDougall, Sara. The Medieval Review (September 2013). – Full Text: IUScholarWorks Repository (Free Access)

Osborne, Emma. The Kelvingrov Review No. 12 (December 2013). – Full Text: University of Glasgow (Free Access)

Phillips, Kim M. Speculum:A Journal of Medieval Studies 89(4) (October 2014): 1132-1134. – Full Text: Cambridge Journals Online (Restricted Access)

Prange, Mathis. WerkstattGeschichte No. 63 (2013): 128-130. – Full Text: WerkstattGeschichte (Free Access), recensio.net (Free Access)

Added: June 22, 2013 – Last updated: November 22, 2014