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Castles in Medieval SocietyFortresses in England, France, and Ireland in the Central Middle Ages$
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Charles L. H. Coulson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208242.001.0001

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Ladies of Fortresses and Castle Children

Ladies of Fortresses and Castle Children

(p.339) 2 Ladies of Fortresses and Castle Children
Castles in Medieval Society


Oxford University Press

Women and children should not be regarded so much as an underclass in a male-dominated society during the medieval period, but rather, as a legally protected majority, as fully vested with property and fortresses alike as was possible in their condition. Castles in medieval England, Ireland, Scotland, and France were the women's home territory. Minors, who assumed administrative duties mainly through inheritance, also deserve attention in this regard. Boys and elderly women valiantly upheld their positions and defended their fortresses. They fitted entirely naturally into a system not at all confined to the vigorous adult man. The involvement of women, widows, and children with that peculiar kind of residential property constituted by fortresses was no less conspicuous in regions and episodes of danger than it habitually was at other times and in other places.

Keywords:   fortresses, castles, medieval period, England, Ireland, France, women, children, Scotland, inheritance

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