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Married Life in the Middle Ages, 900-1300$
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Elisabeth van Houts

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798897

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798897.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

End of Marriage and Remarriage

End of Marriage and Remarriage

(p.141) 5 End of Marriage and Remarriage
Married Life in the Middle Ages, 900-1300

Elisabeth van Houts

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how marriages ended in death or dissolution or annulment, and how couples would start another marriage. There is a discussion on the couple’s sexuality after remarriage, as well as one on children and stepchildren. In the case of remarriage, the ingrained attitude of the clergy, theologically and practically, was that widows ideally should remain single. Yet, there were plenty of chaplains and other clerks sympathetic to the plight of those who were widowed and supportive of their wish to remarry. Fictional literature concentrates on the widow, not on the widower, and paints her as either devoted to her late husband’s memory or as sexually predatory. Chronicles and charters reveal complex and gendered relationships between stepparent and stepchild.

Keywords:   widow, widower, annulment, dissolution of marriage, death, stepchildren

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