Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Caroline Dunn, Committee Chair
Dr. Stephanie Barczewski
Dr. Thomas Kuehn
Widows who lived in fifteenth-century England present an interesting case study for their exercises of agency through personal piety because they are underrepresented in the historiographical discussion on this topic. This thesis focuses largely on widowed laywomen and the different ways in which they could access agency through personal piety and the legal system. The examination of their choices in donations, bequests, and other pious actions reveals widows’ ability to express themselves. The chief focus of this thesis are the ways in which widows’ actions of personal piety provided them with access points to agency, authority, and power. While there has been much study on women’s piety and women’s agency, this study seeks to fill historiographical gaps by combining these aspects of medieval Englishwomen’s lives as they experienced them in the fifteenth century.
Bailey, Mikkaela Beth, "Relict: Widows and their Expressions of Agency through Personal Piety and Religious Devotion in Fifteenth-Century England" (2019). All Theses. 3236.