Nunneries and the Anglo-Saxon Royal Houses
By the late Anglo-Saxon period almost all newly founded nunneries were founded by royal patronage. This detailed study, which traces the histories of royal nunneries in the 7th and 8th centuries, examines how they differed from other types of religious communities in terms of their organisation, status, special secular and ecclesiastical features and the authority and power which the abbess and other women held. Barbara Yorke reveals how the royal nunneries were not only subject to the changing fortunes of the Church and state, but also to the successes and failures of the royal houses that patronised them. This particular group of nunneries is also compared and contrasted with the variety of other arrangements available to religious women, both within and outside of convents and male religious establishments, and with gender and societal norms.
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