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  • Writer's pictureLogan Quigley

Women, Books, & Pregnancy in Medieval France (Rivard Hill)

Updated: Feb 24




Although much scholarship on the Middle Ages uses the model of “great men” to describe this time period, “Women, Books, and Pregnancy in Medieval France” focuses on the patron saint of childbirth St. Margaret to promote a more equitable interpretation of first-hand evidence found in material objects that points to a more holistic understanding of the past. From evidence found in specific medieval prayer books, this podcast illustrates how women played an essential role in the ownership of books. By including discussions about the role of women in owning and reading books, this episode contributes to the idea that women had an active part in disseminating cultural knowledge. Through their role in determining the contents of specific medieval books, medieval women helped to shape the material legacy of the Middle Ages in France.


Andrew Rivard Hill is a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in the Department of French at the University of Virginia. Currently, he is finishing his dissertation, which is entitled “Praying in French: Towards a Shared Culture of Reading in Three Medieval Books from U.S. Collections.” His primary focus consists of transcribing and translating little-known medieval prayers from French Books of Hours in U.S. collections. His secondary goal is to make Old French versions of the widely popular Life of St. Margaret from U.S. collections available in English for future study. His research interests include the history of emotions, hagiography, devotional practices in medieval Christianity, manuscript and material culture, and digital humanities

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