Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Ireland

Lisa M. Bitel


Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Ireland

Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Ireland

  • Title: Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Ireland
  • Author: Lisa M. Bitel
  • ISBN: 9780801430954
  • Page: 361
  • Format: Hardcover



In Land of Women, Lisa M Bitel systematically recovers the almost lost society that women and men created together in Ireland Europe between the coming of Christianity and the year 1000 has been portrayed as a world where women were either subservient to men or in rebellion against them Bitel argues, however, that the women and men of early medieval Ireland did not alwaIn Land of Women, Lisa M Bitel systematically recovers the almost lost society that women and men created together in Ireland Europe between the coming of Christianity and the year 1000 has been portrayed as a world where women were either subservient to men or in rebellion against them Bitel argues, however, that the women and men of early medieval Ireland did not always submit to patriarchal ideals of institutionalized oppression Bitel analyzes the social roles, both restrictive and empowering, played by women in Ireland between about 700 and 1100 She focuses first on sex, love, marriage, and motherhood She examines the economic strategies that women developed and the social networks they built in the face of men s desire to restrict their mobility In the process, she explains the often conflicting ideas about women expressed by the writers of medieval Irish texts a small group of literate men vowed to a religion that has always been ambivalent toward the female sex which derived from both Christian and secular Celtic heritages She concludes by examining the violent and powerful images of women common in the medieval literature of Ireland, asking why men s texts consistently depicted women negatively when men and women interacted in a wide variety of ways Ultimately, Bitel maintains, early Ireland hosted a set of gender relations every bit as flexible, contradictory, and complex as our own.


Recent Comments "Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Ireland"

When I buy a book with a big old Síle na Gig* on the cover, I expect to like it. Not so much this time around. It had its good parts, but it also has some big problems. First, there's a problem with the title. It should be "medieval Ireland." Early Ireland, to me at least, implies pre-Medieval. Secondly, the author did a good amount of research in the Vitae, medieval legal tracts like Cain Adomnain, and some mythology. But oh, what a mistake she made in interpreting the myths. Frankly, she made [...]

There are aspects of this that I would quibble with, and some of her stylistic choices drove me batty (why she insisted on contracting the place name Cluain Mhic Nois to Cluain is a mystery, especially given the predominance of places either called Cluain, or which have 'Cluain' as a prefix), but overall it's really an okay example of scholarship in what is still an emerging field. I like how she uses literary representations of gender roles to dissect gender ideologies, and how she takes a more [...]

Bitel teaches history at USC. Great scholarship; not for the faint of heart or new-agey types.

In the preface of the book the author tells us the time period she will be covering, which is early medieval Ireland, and the goal of the book, which is to sketch the gender system of the early medieval Irish Society. For her sources the author uses hard data about the land, then looks at poems, mythology, law tracts, and folklore. The author looks at the size and distribution of Ireland’s population in the early medieval period and the general situation of women described in material terms an [...]

This was an interesting read which contradicted some of the other scholarship I've read on the subject and developed some other parts; it gave me millions of world-building ideas for something I'm working on, though. And I think it helps to understand the context of the stories I'm studying.


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    Published :2018-08-21T16:24:19+00:00