The female of the species was as deadly as the male. Well, almost….

In ‘The Order of the White Boar’ Alys and Duchess Anne may not actually indulge in brick-laying, but they definitely don’t just sit around swooning over knights. Riding to the hunt or running the castle while the lord is away are much more in their line, as with the ladies here portrayed…

murreyandblue

ladies watching jousting

When we think of medieval women, in particular the ladies, we are inclined to label them a little as is the following two illustrations. Simpering, sighing and generally being soppy over their menfolk. As above. There they are at a tournament, looking star-struck, and good for nothing but making cow-eyes at the men, and presenting the prizes. Or perhaps being fawned over by one of said menfolk. I wonder, is that a real bird she’s holding?

Or is it more likely she’d be petting a dear little squirrel, while her chap brandishes a ring and a fearsome hawk. Hmm, on reflection. The ring’s acceptable, I suppose, but I think I’d rather have the hawk than a squirrel. The latter are nasty little varmints. I think the lady’s hound knows who’s better off.

Luttrell Psalter - my lady has a squirrelSo, the above is generally how we view these wellborn ladies. Decorative, dim and dull. It’s the…

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About alexmarchantblog

A Ricardian since a teenager, and following stints as an archaeologist and in publishing, Alex now lives and works in King Richard’s own country, not far from his beloved York and Middleham
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