By Caroline Dunn
This learn of illicit sexuality in medieval England explores hyperlinks among marriage and intercourse, legislations and disease, and estate and gear. a few medieval Englishwomen persisted rape or have been abducted for pressured marriages, but such a lot ravished ladies have been married and plenty of 'wife-thefts' weren't compelled kidnappings yet instances of adultery fictitiously framed as abduction via deserted husbands. In pursuing the subjects of illicit sexuality and non-normative marital practices, this paintings analyses the nuances of the main Latin time period raptus and the 3 overlapping offences that it may possibly denote: rape, abduction and adultery. This research broadens our figuring out of the position of girls within the felony process; offers a method for analysing male keep watch over over girl our bodies, sexuality and entry to the courts; and divulges ways that girl organization may perhaps, sometimes, manoeuvre round such controls.
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Additional info for Stolen Women in Medieval England: Rape, Abduction, and Adultery, 1100-1500 (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series)
89 Stolen girls in medieval England English professionals were legislating opposed to abduction for the reason that Edward I’s period, yet lawmakers basically feared elopement and adulterous abandonment, even if within the language of legislation and ensuing proceedings they termed such complicit departures ‘abduction’. by way of focusing on complicit abductions (elopements), those 13th- and fourteenth-century royal statutes failed sufferers of compelled marriages simply because ladies couldn't accuse their ravishers as soon as coercive nuptials were solemnised (a spouse couldn't prosecute her husband). in the course of the 15th century lawmakers eventually acknowledged the matter of widows stolen and compelled to remarry, and enacted extra statutes designed to thwart and punish such kidnappings. Fifteenth-century resources, together with literature, petitions, and those statutes, display this new anxiousness approximately unwilling marriage by way of seize. within the fifteenth-century English textual content of Le Bone Florence of Rome, the noble maiden Florence awaits the go back of her betrothed Emere from conflict. Coveting Florence’s wealth, prestige, and sweetness, Emere’s brother, Myles, involves his soon-to-be sister-in-law and falsely tells her that her betrothed is lifeless. Florence responds through swooning, sighing, and weeping, and Myles proposes that Florence now marry him. 36 Florence refuses, vowing to be a bride purely to Christ now that her love is lifeless. The deception is ultimately exposed, Emere is still on his quest, and Myles comes to a decision to aim back. This time he tells Florence that Emere is almost lower back and needs to determine Florence, and that he needs for Myles to escort her. 37 Myles leads her within the unsuitable course and, upon achieving a secure distance, tells her that she is going to by no means see her fiancé back. Tho the girl syghed wondur sare, And felle of on hur palfray. He bete hur wyth hys nakyd swyrde, And sche caste up many a rewfull rerde. 38 Myles used to be then motive on raping Florence that evening to accomplish his conquest, yet Florence used to be blessedly rescued from violation. There he wolde have leyn hur through, And sche made hur preyer specyally, To God and Mary fyre and unfastened: ‘Let nevyr thys fake fende My physique nodur schame nor schende. ’39 Tayllor used to be stolen from her domestic in Carlisle by way of Alan and Isabelle Laffeles, delivered to the Laffeles’ domestic in Northumberland, and compelled to marry their servant Robert de Clyssehur. KB 27/50, m. 7d. 36 Le Bone Florence of Rome, ed. Carol Falvo Heffernan (Manchester, 1975), ll. 1093–8. 37 Ibid. , ll. 1389–92. 38 Ibid. , ll. 1424–7. 39 Ibid. , ll. 1438–43. ninety Abduction and compelled marriage finally, Florence is rescued from Myles, suffers extra tribulations, and returns to joyous reconciliation with Emere. the story of Florence – a past due fifteenth-century heart English romance, with French and probably Oriental antecedents – had modern real-life parallels, visible, for instance, within the tale that Margery Mallefant advised to the English Parliament in a petition of 1439 complaining of her trap and mistreatment. forty not like Florence, who was once lied to approximately her fiancé’s loss of life, Margery Mallefant was once a widow, yet didn't but are aware of it.