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Medieval Crime and Social Control

1998

Barbara A. Hanawalt and David Wallace, editors

Medieval Crime and Social Control

Uses historical and literary insights to consider crime and punishment in the Middle Ages.

Crime is a matter of interpretation, especially in the Middle Ages, when societies faced with new ideas and pressures were continually forced to rethink what a crime was-and what was a crime. These essays reveal how various forces in medieval society interacted and competed in interpreting and influencing mechanisms for social control.

Contributors: Christopher Cannon, Elizabeth Fowler, Louise O. Fradenburg, Claude Gauvard, James H. Landman, William Perry Marvin, William Ian Miller, Louise Mirrer, Walter Prevenier.

This volume offers a coherent presentation of cultural studies. It will endure as a landmark of that approach to medieval studies.

The Historian

Crime is a matter of interpretation, and never was this truer than in the Middle Ages, when societies faced with new ideas and pressures were continually forced to rethink what a crime was-and what was a crime. This collection undertakes a thorough exploration of shifting definitions of crime and changing attitudes toward social control in medieval Europe.

These essays-by leading specialists in European history and literature-reveal how various forces in medieval society interacted and competed in interpreting and influencing mechanisms for social control. They also demonstrate how well the different methods of history and literature combine to illuminate these developments.

The essays show how the play with boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate actions took place not only in laws and courts, but also in the writing of social commentators such as John Fortescue and Jean Gerson, in the works of authors such as William Langland and Geoffrey Chaucer, and in popular literature such as sagas and romances. Drawing on a wide range of historical and literary sources-legal treatises, court cases, statutes, poems, romances, and comic tales-the contributors consider topics including fear of crime, rape and violence against women, revenge and condemnations of crime, learned dispute about crime and social control, and legal and political struggles over hunting rights. Their work shows how medieval society also defined its boundaries in contested spaces such as taverns and forests and in the different rules applying to the behavior and treatment of men and women.

Contributors: Christopher Cannon, Oxford U; Elizabeth Fowler, Yale U; Louise O. Fradenburg, U of California, Santa Barbara; Claude Gauvard, Sorbonne; James H. Landman, U of North Texas; William Perry Marvin, Colorado State U; William Ian Miller, U of Michigan; Louise Mirrer, CUNY; Walter Prevenier, U of Ghent.

ISBN 0-8166-3168-9 Cloth $49.95xx
ISBN 0-8166-3169-7 Paper $19.95x
268 pages 5 7/8 x 9 January
Medieval Cultures Series, volume 16
Translation inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

Medieval Crime and Social Control

Barbara A. Hanawalt is professor of history at the University of Minnesota. David Wallace is Judith Rodin Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Medieval Crime and Social Control

This volume offers a coherent presentation of cultural studies. It will endure as a landmark of that approach to medieval studies.

The Historian

Medieval Crime and Social Control

Contents

Preface

Introduction Barbara A. Hanawalt and David Wallace

1. Fear of Crime in Late Medieval France Claude Gauvard
2. Needful Things Louise O. Fradenburg
3. In Defense of Revenge William Ian Miller
4. "The Doom of Resoun": Accommodating Lay Interpretation in Late Medieval England James H. Landman
5. Chaucer's Hard Cases Elizabeth Fowler
6. The "Unfaithful Wife" in Medieval Spanish Literature and Law Louise Miner
7. The Rights of Medieval English Women: Crime and the Issue of Representation Christopher Cannon
8. Violence against Women in Fifteenth-Century France and the Burgundian State Walter Prevenier
9. The Host, the Law, and the Ambiguous Space of Medieval London Taverns 204 Barbara A. Hanawalt Contents
10. Slaughter and Romance: Hunting Reserves in Late Medieval England William Perry Marvin

Contributors
Index