9780803216860 / 0803216866

Handbook for William: A Carolingian Woman's Counsel for Her Son (Regents Studies in Medieval Culture)


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Publisher:University of Nebraska Press, 1991



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About the book:

One of the few surviving texts written by a woman of the Middle Ages, Dhuoda's "Libermanualis" was available in only two faulty Latin manuscripts until a third, superior one was discovered in the 1950s. This English translation by Carol Neel, based on the 1975 critical edition and French translation by Pierre Rich, will bring the work to a wider audience. "Handbook for William" expresses Dhuoda's maternal feelings, religious fervor, and learning. In instructing her children how they might flourish in God's eyes, as well as humanity's, Dhuoda reveals the authority of Carolingian women in aristocratic households. She dwells on family relations, social order, the connection between religious and military responsibility, and, always, the central place of Christian devotion in a noble life. In her introduction Carol Neel discusses the sociopolitical, literary, and theological background of "Handbook for William".

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