Nuns, tarts, trouble and strife: medieval women (1)

Course Dates: 26/09/23 - 31/10/23
Time: 19:30 - 21:00
Location: Online
We will look beyond the myth of the meek fair maiden and see what life was really like for women in the middle ages. From the cradle to the grave, rich and poor.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HEH84

Started Tue, eve, 26 Sep - 31 Oct '23

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The life-cycle of medieval women.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We begin by discussing the range of contemporary sources available for historians seeking to explore the lives of medieval women. We will then work through each phase of a woman’s life and the roles she played. Beginning with childhood, we go on to look at marriage, medieval mothering, the working woman and finally the widow.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Describe how contemporary sources affect our perception of women in the Middle Ages
• Debate on whether it was better to be a wife or a widow in medieval society
• Identify employment opportunities available to women before 1500.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No prior knowledge is necessary, but a good understanding of English is essential.
An open mind and a willingness to engage respectfully in class discussion and debate.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

PowerPoint will be used to illustrate key points and then we will be reading and discussing contemporary sources (in translation). You will be encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment. Occasionally reading outside the class will be encouraged with a worksheet to complete, but is not obligatory.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no other expenses other than note-taking materials. We are meeting online and so you are advised to check that your equipment has a built-in microphone and camera.

You are not expected to purchase any reading material. All essential reading will be supplied via Google Classroom for you to download. A course book listing weekly topics and ideas for reading will be provided at the beginning of the course.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HEH110 Nuns, tarts, trouble and strife : Medieval women (2).

Vanessa King Tutor Website

Vanessa King is a lecturer in Medieval and early Modern History at Regents University, and Birkbeck College University of London. At City Lit, Vanessa offers courses and day schools on London, as well as European history from the Fall of Rome to 1800. She has published widely on the Anglo-Norman period (1066-1154), and is currently writing a book on Early English Queenship 600-1066 for Routledge. You can follow her progress via her website: Vanessa’s expertise in medieval matters means she is frequently called upon to give public lectures and speak on BBC Radio. Vanessa's philosophy of teaching is to make history come alive through informative presentations with a good sense of humour. In her spare time, she enjoys nothing better than talking history over a glass of red wine!

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.