In her last post, Laura introduced us to the elaborate tombs of the Hastings family at St Mary’s priory Abergavenny, and showed what they can reveal about attitudes towards memorial and self-image amongst late-medieval nobles. This time, Laura turns her attention to other tombs at St Mary’s, and the difficulties of studying medieval art in Britain.
So what happened once you were married in the courts of medieval Europe? The Victorian idea of ‘separate spheres’- men dominating the public world of work and politics, women responsible for the private, domestic life of home and children- does not apply in the Middle Ages. We cannot make a clear distinction between the public and the private, or even between work and home.
In March, project team member Dr Laura Slater visited the Dr Williams’s Library in London. Her project looks at the cultural patronage of Queen Philippa of Hainault, wife of Edward III of England, focussing particularly on the manuscripts made for her personal religious devotions. One of these manuscripts, a psalter possibly made for Philippa on her arrival in England in 1327, is today part of the collections held by this fascinating library.