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Women as Scribes


  • Page extent: 214 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.54 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 745.6/1
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: Z801.B3 B43 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Scriptoria--Germany--Bavaria--History--To 1500
    • Scribes--Germany--Bavaria--History--To 1500
    • Women in Christianity--History--Middle Ages, 600-1500
    • Books--Germany--History--400-1400
    • Manuscripts, Medieval--Germany--Bavaria--History

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521792431 | ISBN-10: 0521792436)

  • Also available in Paperback
  • Published April 2004

Available, despatch within 3-4 weeks

US $134.00
Singapore price US $143.38 (inclusive of GST)

Professor Beach's book on female scribes in twelfth-century Bavaria - a full-length study of the role of women copyists in the Middle Ages - is underpinned by the notion that the scriptorium was central to the intellectual revival of the Middle Ages and that women played a role in this renaissance. The author examines the exceptional quantity of evidence of female scribal activity in three different religious communities, pointing out the various ways in which the women worked - alone, with other women, and even alongside men - to produce books for monastic libraries, and discussing why their work should have been made visible, whereas that of other female scribes remains invisible. Beach's focus on manuscript production, and the religious, intellectual, social and economic factors which shaped that production, enables her to draw wide-ranging conclusions of interest not only to palaeographers but also to those interested in reading, literacy, religion and gender history.

• Of importance not only to palaeographers but also to historians interested in the twelfth-century Renaissance in Germany • A useful contribution to the study of reading, literacy and the history of the book


1. Introduction; 2. Diemut and the nun-scribes of Wessobrunn; 3. Claustration and collaboration: the nun-scribes of Admont; 4. Unlikely allies in the scriptorium: the female scribes of Schäftlarn; 5. Conclusion; Appendix A. Codicological tables; Appendix B. Ruling patterns; Bibliography; Index.


Review of the hardback: 'Beach has studied her women with rigour and sensitivity providing a durable account of their work, fascinating observations on their interrelations with male counterparts, and thought-provoking reflections on their place in twelfth-century spiritual culture. As an illustration of the contribution that palaeography can make to intellectual and religious as well as bibliographical history, Women as Scribes deserves a wide readership.' The Library

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