Saturday, March 07, 2009

Don't ask me why...

But I was reading:

Susan Groag Bell "Medieval Women Book Owners: Arbiters of Lay Piety and. Ambassadors of Culture." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 7, no. 41(1982)

and really, it is very interesting! There were so few books available. And they weren't even real books- just collections of parchment or vellum. The women owning books were typically nobles. The books were largely devotional- one imagines them being used as talismans more than anything. But Bell also plays up the "solace" that women of that era probably found in these devotional books. Imagine yourself living in a nasty brutish world (as so well described by Ken Follet, Pillars of the Earth, with only one book to read. So... is it the same in an African village?!

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