chapter  5
24 Pages

Common Law

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book shows that there is more to the area than simply restating women's victimization: a consideration of the confinement of women illuminates contemporary ideas about law and gender, as well as offering some insights into the experiences of particular medieval women. In other groups, it seems that servant women were particularly vulnerable to abduction, though sources are less forthcoming about the detail of their experiences. The dangerous weakness model, which the author has sketched here, may be worthy of consideration alongside the more paradoxical idea of the power of the weak and popular dualities such as pawns: players or victims: viragos. Medieval sources on men do occasionally deal with physical and mental consequences of imprisonment. It was not unknown for prisoners to die, and some cases suggest adverse consequences to mental health flowing from imprisonment.