queen consorts: 9th-century Eadburh didn’t affect 11th-century Emma

To support the myth of women’s historical powerlessness, modern historians distinguish between queens regnant and queen consorts. A queen regnant is formally the realm’s ruler. A queen consort is formally only the wife of the king.[1] In 802, the West Saxons rebelled against the murderous, backstabbing Queen Eadburh and insisted that future queens be called only the wife of the king. Prior to its modern variant, that practice lasted only to the mid-tenth century. Men’s orientation toward elite women is more typically represented in the Praise of Emma the Queen {Encomium Emmae Reginae} written with much misinformation for Queen Emma of Normandy in the eleventh century. Women’s power can only be understood in relation to men’s propensity to do whatever pleases women.

Eadburh was the daughter of King Offa. He formally ruled the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia in central England from 757 to 796. Eadburh in 789 married King Beorhtric, nominal ruler of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex in southern England. Princess Eadburh thus became Queen Eadburh.

The gender and status of Queen Eadburh as merely the king’s wife didn’t constrain her capability to act like a tyrant. As queen, “she began to behave like a tyrant in the manner of her father {more paterno tyrannice vivere incepit}.” Eadburh pursued her own interests in contrast to those of her husband King Beorhtric:

She loathed every man whom Beorhtric liked, and she did all things hateful to God and men. She denounced all those whom she could before the king, and by snares thus deprived them of either life or power. If she could not achieve that through the king, she killed the men with poison.

{ omnem hominem execrari, quem Beorhtric diligeret, et omnia odibilia Deo et hominibus facere, et omnes, quos posset, ad regem accusare, et ita aut vita aut potestate per insidias privare. Et si a rege illud impetrare non posset, veneno eos necabat. }[2]

After conducting such schemes as queen for more than a decade, in 802 Queen Eadburh sought to poison a “certain young man very dear to the king {adolescens quidam regi dilectissimo}.” In poisoning that young man, Queen Eadburh also accidentally poisoned her husband King Beorhtric.

In response to her murderous scheming culminating in their king’s death, the West Saxons deposed Queen Eadburh. Moreover, they established a new gender policy for queens:

The West Saxon people henceforth did not allow the queen to sit beside the king, nor indeed did they allow her to be called “queen,” but rather “the king’s wife.” … For as a result of her very great wickedness, all the inhabitants of the land swore that they would never permit any king to reign over them who during his lifetime invited his queen to sit beside him on the royal throne.

{ Gens namque Occidentalium Saxonum reginam iuxta regem sedere non patitur, nec etiam reginam appellari, sed regis coniugem, permittit. … Pro nimia namque illius reginae malitia omnes accolae illius terrae coniuraverunt, ut nullum unquam regem super se in vita sua regnare permitterent, qui reginam in regali solio iuxta se sedere imperare vellet. }

Asser of St. David’s, a Welsh monk who became Bishop of Sherborne in the 890s, probably authored this account.[3] Medieval Christianity taught the biblical unity of male and female and conjugal partnership in marriage. Asser condemned constraining the status that a woman could acquire through marriage. Across a short passage, he called demoting a queen to the king’s consort “a perverse custom {perversa consuetudo},” “a contradiction, indeed, dishonor {controversia, immo infamia},” “a destructive moral corruption {pestifer tabes},” and “this perverse and detestable custom in Saxon land, contrary to the practice of all Germanic peoples {haec perversa et detestabilis consuetudo in Saxonia, ultra morem omnium Theotiscorum}.” In Christian understanding, the king’s wife rightly had all his power and privilege.[4]

Queen Eadburh used her power and privilege in part to advance her sexual interests. After being deposed as queen, Eadburh sailed to Europe. She took with her “countless treasures {innumerabiles thesauri}.” She then went to the court of the great Frankish king Charlemagne. She offered him many gifts. He tested whether her wisdom and character made her fit to be a queen:

Charlemagne said: “Choose, Eadburh, whom you wish between me and my son, who is standing with me on this throne.” She, foolishly replying without thinking, said: “If the choice is left to me, I choose your son, as he is younger than you.”

{ Karolus ait: “Elige, Eadburh, quem velis inter me et filium meum, qui mecum in solario isto stat.” At illa, sine deliberatione stulte respondens, [dicens] ait: “Si mihi electio conceditur, filium tuum, in quantum te iunior est, eligo.” }

Eadburh apparently regarded young men as more sexually vigorous than older men. That’s generally true. However, men offer women in love much more than just their sexuality. The wise king Charlemagne told Eadburh that she could have neither him nor his son. He also didn’t offer her his very sexually vigorous peer Oliver. Charlemagne gave Eadburh the position of abbess for a large convent. Not having learned the wisdom that Charlemagne apparent sought for her to learn, she served as abbess for only a few years:

When finally she was caught publicly fornicating with a certain man of her own people, she was thrown out of the monastery by order of Charlemagne the king. She then led her life up to her death in poverty and misery. As we have heard from many who saw her, in the end she had only one slave boy and, begging every day, she died in misery in Pavia.

{ Nam a quodam suae propriae gentis homine constuprata, demum palam deprehensa, de monasterio, imperio Karoli regis, deiecta, in paupertate et miseria leto tenus vituperabiliter vitam duxit; ita ut ad ultimum, uno servulo comitata, sicut a multis videntibus eam audivimus, cotidie mendicans, in Pavia miserabiliter moreretur. }

By the late eleventh century, Pavia was known as a city of fleshly pleasure. In the twelfth century, the Archpoet sang of the beautiful, warmly receptive women of Pavia. Perhaps Eadburh in the ninth century helped to build Pavia’s reputation for sexually eager women.

The lesson that Eadburh taught about women’s tyranny through the power of marriage didn’t last. Men readily return to their normal practice of praising and promoting women, sometimes even to the extent of gyno-idolatry. While the king’s wife apparently was kept in the background according to ninth-century Anglo-Saxon records, the queen once again rose in power in the tenth century. In 973 King Edgar’s wife Ælfthryth was formally consecrated as queen. She was referred to simply as “queen {regina},” as were king’s wives subsequent to her reign.[5] In the early eleventh century, the wife of King Cnut of England was referred to as Queen Emma. She signed royal documents immediately after the king and before archbishops.[6]

Men throughout history, including the very small number of kings, typically have not acted independently of their concern for women and women’s influence on them. Men commonly strive to please their mothers, impress potential female sexual partners, and receive the gynocentric merit of praising women. Men have long credited all their work to women.

Queen Emma of Normandy

Women’s power, like most political power, is gender-relational. Men have long striven to increase women’s status and power. For example, a Flemish monk about the year 1041 praised the King of England’s mother, Emma of Normandy:

That your excellence transcends the skill of any one speaking about you shines more clearly than the very radiance of the sun to all to whom you are known. I therefore esteem you as one who has regarded me as being so favorably deserving that I would sink to death unafraid if I would believe that my action would lead to your advantage. For this reason, and also according to your command to me, I am eager to transmit to posterity through my literary work a record of acts carried out, acts which, I declare, touch upon your honor and your attainments. … O reader, having thoroughly investigated this construction with the watchful indeed perspicacious eye of your mind, understand that the course of this little book resounds entirely in praises of Queen Emma.

{ Quod enim cuiuslibet peritiae loquentis de te virtus tua preminet, omnibus a quibus cognosceris ipso solis iubare clarius lucet. Te igitur erga me adeo bene meritam magnifacio, ut morti intrepidus occumberem, si in rem tibi provenire crederem. Qua ex re, mihi etiam ut precipis, memoriam rerum gestarum, rerum inquam tuo tuorumque honori attinentium, litteris meis posteritati mandare gestio. … o lector, vigilique immo etiam perspicaci oculo mentis perscrutato textu, intellige, huius libelli seriem per omnia reginae Emmae laudibus respondere. }[7]

Men writers have commonly served highly privileged women patrons. Flattering patrons is common practice for dependent and vulnerable writers. But this encomiast didn’t merely follow literary convention under huge power inequality between woman patron and man writer. His Praise of Emma the Queen {Encomium Emmae Reginae} overwhelmingly describes the deeds of men engaged in violence against men. Women are intimately implicated in the deeds of men, yet women’s dominant agency is typically hidden in the story of men political leaders and men slaughtered. The encomiast explained:

Who can deny that the Aeneid, written by Virgil, resounds everywhere in praises of Octavian, although nearly no or clearly very little mention of him is seen to be introduced?

{ Aeneida, conscriptam a Virgilio, quis poterit infitiari ubique laudibus respondere Octoviani, cum pene nihil aut plane parum eius mentio videatur nominatim interseri? }

The encomiast was more explicit than Virgil in mentioning the implicit ruling power. He mentioned King Cnut thirty times, but also mentioned Queen Emma nine times.[8]

The encomiast told of King Cnut eagerly soliciting marriage with Emma. Not merely desiring a young, beautiful, fertile woman, King Cnut sought a woman worthy to be his partner in marriage:

The king lacked nothing except for a most noble spouse. Such he ordered to be inquired for on his behalf everywhere. When she was found, he would obtain her hand lawfully, and when she was wedded to him, he would make her the partner of his rule. Therefore journeys were undertaken through realms and cities, and a royal bride was sought. After a difficult, thorough searching far and wide, a worthy one was ultimately discovered. This imperial bride was in fact found within the bounds of Gaul, more precisely, in the Norman region. She was in lineage and wealth the richest and furthermore the most beautiful and delightfully wise, the most distinguished of all women of that time, namely a famous queen. In accordance with her various distinctions, she was much desired by the king.

{ nil regi defuit absque nobilissima coniuge; quam ubique sibi iussit inquirere, ut inventam hanc legaliter adquireret, et adeptam imperii sui consortem faceret. Igitur per regna et per urbes discurritur, et regalis sponsa perquiritur; sed longe lateque quaesite, vix tandem digna repperitur. Inventa est vero haec imperialis sponsa in confinitate Galliae et praecipue in Normandensi regione, stirpe et opibus ditissima, sed tamen pulchritudinis et prudentiae delectamine omnium eius temporum mulierum praestantissima, utpote regina famosa. Propter huiuscemodi insignia multum appetebatur a rege }

The marital gender policy enacted after the disastrous rein of Queen Eadburh had been abandoned. The woman that King Cnut desired as his queen-partner was Emma of Normandy. She was then about 33 years old, with three children from a previous marriage.[9] The Danish King Cnut had two children from a previous marriage. The encomiast emphasized Emma’s marital bargaining power in relation to King Cnut:

Pleaders were sent to the lady, royal gifts were sent, and entreating messages were sent. But she utterly refused to become the bride of Cnut unless he would affirm to her by oath that he would never establish to rule after him any other wife’s son, if it so happened that God should give her a son by him. She had word that the king had sons by some other woman. Prudently providing for her offspring, she knew in her wise mind how to make arrangements in advance profiting them. The king consequently found what the lady said acceptable, and when the oath had been taken, the lady found the will of the king acceptable. And thus, thanks be to God, the lady Emma, noblest of women, became the wife of the most mighty King Cnut.

{ Mittuntur proci ad dominam, mittuntur dona regalia, mittuntur et verba precatoria. Sed abnegat illa, se unquam Chnutonis sponsam fieri, nisi illi iusiurando affirmaret, quod nunquam alterius coniugis filium post se regnare faceret nisi eius, si forte ille Deus ex eo filium dedisset. Dicebatur enim ab alia quadam rex filios habuisse; unde illa suis prudenter providens, scivit ipsis sagaci animo profutura preordinare. Placuit ergo regi verbum virginis, et iusiurando facto virgini placuit voluntas regis; et sic Deo gratis domina Emma mulierum nobilissima fit coniunx regis fortissimi Cnutonis. }

According to the encomiast, King Cnut yielding to Emma’s demand for a prenuptial oath brought joy and peace to England and much of Western Europe:

Gaul rejoiced and the fatherland of the English also rejoiced when so great an honor was conveyed across the sea. Gaul, I say, rejoiced at having given birth to such a great one worthy of so great a king. The fatherland of the English indeed rejoiced to have received such a one into its towns. What an event, sought with a million prayers, and at length barely brought to pass under the Savior’s favoring grace! This was what the armies on both sides had long eagerly desired: that so great a lady and so great a man, she worthy of her husband as he was worthy of her, bound together in matrimony, should lay to rest the disturbances of war.

{ Letatur Gallia, letatur etiam Anglorum patria, dum tantum decus transvehitur per aequora. Letatur, inquam, Gallia tantam tanto regi dignam se enixam; Anglorum vero letatur patria, talem se recepisse in oppida. O res millenis milies petita votis, vixque tandem effecta auspicante gratia Salvatoris. Hoc erat quod utrobique vehementer iam dudum desideraverat exercitus, scilicet ut tanta tanto, digna etiam digno, maritali convinculata iugo, bellicos sedaret motus. }

The encomiast never mentions Queen Emma’s first husband, King Æthelred of England. The Danish King Cnut overthrew King Æthelred. Emma, the disposed monarch’s wife, probably was caught in Cnut’s seige of London. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle suggests that Cnut fetched Emma for marriage from a situation of her serious disadvantage. Encomium Emmae Reginae is best understood as a literary effort to construct an appealing story of a glorious queen establishing a ruling conjugal partnership with her husband the king.[10] That’s how queens, whether queens regnant or queen consorts, have commonly been understood throughout European history.

With willful ideological blinders, scholars now lament women’s historical lack of “independent” agency. Encomium Emmae Reginae praised the king for “being in all things obedient to the counsels of his mother {maternis per omnia parens consiliis}.” Women exercise power and rule over men mainly through exploiting men’s solicitousness toward women. In ninth-century England, the viciousness of Queen Eadburh prompted the Anglo-Saxons to limit the queen’s power to the status of the king wife, a status historians today call queen consort. That independent power-status lasted less than two centuries. Women don’t have independent power because men insistently support women with actions like writing Encomium Emmae Reginae.

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Notes:

[1] In addition to one man typically being the formal ruling king, men typically fight and die in political violence to a far greater extent than women. Most men killed in political violence have much less privilege and power than elite women such as the king’s wife. From the perspective of almost all men throughout history, the modern distinction between queen regnant and queen consort has mattered little relative to the enormous gap in power between them and either category of queen. On historical terms for the king’s wife, Stafford (1997) Ch. 3.

Institutions of regency (rulers appointed for a time on behalf of a ruler currently unable to rule on her or his own) create additional formal complications. Anne of France in late-fifteenth-century Europe shows that women’s power can also transcend the formal structure of regency.

[2] Asser of St. David’s, Life of Alfred, King of the Anglo-Saxons {Vita Ælfredi regis Angul Saxonum} 14, Latin text from Stevenson (1904), English translation (modified slightly) from Keynes & Lapidge (1983). For an earlier, freely available English translation of Vita Ælfredi, Giles (1848). On its title, a convention that Stevenson established, Martin (2016) pp. 91-7. Two royal charters from 801 refer to Eadburh as “queen {regina}.” In addition:

An entry dating to between 825 and 850 in the Reichenau Liber vitae shows an ‘Eadburg’, abbess of a large Lombard convent. Eadburh’s story thus acquires verisimilitude (and Asser’s life plausibility).

Nelson (2004). On the textual history of the account of Eadburh in Vita Ælfredi, Martin (2016) pp. 130-4.

Asser apparently wrote Vita Ælfredi about 893. Martin (2016) pp. 106-7. It circulated very little and survived in only one early-eleventh-century manuscript, British Library, Cotton Otho A.xii. That manuscript perished in a fire in 1731. On its manuscript history and its reconstruction, Martin (2016) and Keynes & Lapidge (1983) pp. 223-7.

Throughout history, the wife of the ruling king (the queen consort) typically has been called simply the queen. Asser emphasized the historicity of his account of Queen Eadburh and the associated change in the queen’s status:

That I have heard from my Alfred, truthful king of the Anglo-Saxons, who still often tells me about it. He likewise had heard it from many truthful sources, indeed in part from men who remembered the event in extensive details.

{ Quod a domino meo Ælfredo, Angul-saxonum rege veredico, etiam saepe mihi referente, audivi; quod et ille etiam a veredicis multis referentibus, immo ex parte non modica illud factum commemorantibus, audierat. }

Asser, Vita Ælfredi 13. This and all other quotes above concerning Eadburh are similarly from Vita Ælfredi, sections 13-15.

[3] Some scholars have argued that Vita Ælfredi is a forgery from perhaps the eleventh century. On that scholarly debate, Martin (2016) pp. 1-2, 12-6; Keynes & Lapidge (1983) pp. 50-1. While doubt is always possible, the evidence seems to me to favor strongly the judgment that Vita Ælfredi is authentically the work of a well-educated Welsh cleric named Asser who personally knew King Alfred the Great.

[4] Monastic education in Anglo-Saxon England taught the Christian ideal of conjugal partnership using an early fifth-century Christian poem in which a husband says to his wife:

Now you, faithful companion, wrap yourself about me for this battle,
you whom God has provided as help for a weak man.
With care restrain me in pride, comfort me in sorrow,
let us both be examples of pious life.
Be guardian of your guardian, mutually giving back.
Raise my slipping, rise with assistance of my lifting,
so we be not only one flesh, but likewise also our minds
be one and one spirit nourish us both.

{ tu modo, fida comes, mecum isti accingere pugnae,
quam Deus infirmo praebuit auxilium.
sollicita elatum cohibe, solare dolentem;
exemplum vitae simus uterque piae.
custos esto tui custodis, mutua redde;
erige labentem, surge levantis ope,
ut caro non eadem tantum, sed mens quoque nobis
una sit atque duos spiritus unus alat. }

Prosper of Aquitaine (attributed), “Verses to his spouse {Versus ad coniugem}” /  Song to his wife {Carmen ad uxorem},” incipit “Age iam, precor, mearum / comes inremota rerum {Come now, I pray, / close companion of my deeds}” vv. 115-122 (of 122), Latin text from Hartel (1894) Appendix, Carmen 1, pp. 344-8, my English translation, benefiting from that of Chiappiniello (2007) p. 136. For an earlier Latin text, Patrologiae Latinae 51, cols. 611-16, available here. On Versus ad coniugem in monastic education in Anglo-Saxon England, Schrunk Ericksen (2019). An English translation was printed in 1539. Page (1983).

Versus ad coniugem survives among works of Prosper of Aquitaine in Vatican Library MS Reginensis latinus 230 and 206, both written in the ninth century. For other manuscripts of this poem, Chiappiniello (2007) p. 115, n. 1, and Parker (1983) p. 344. The poem, which is in the tradition of epithalamia, has been spuriously attributed to Paulinus of Nolas. Cf. Paulinus of Nola, Carmen 25.

[5] Stafford (1983) p. 17, Keynes & Lapidge (1983) p. 235, n. 28. Ælfthryth acted formally as an advocate (forespeca) in at least seven legal cases. Rabin (2009). When King Edgar died in 975, he had a son Edward by his prior wife Æthelflæd, and a son Æthelred by Queen Ælfthryth. In 978, Ælfthryth apparently arranged for the murder of Edward so that her son Æthelred would become king. That’s a common gender pattern of violence against men.

[6] Campbell (1949) pp. xlvi-ii.

[7] Praise of Emma the Queen {Encomium Emmae Reginae} Prologue {Prologus} ll. 4-9, Argument {Argumentum} ll. 33-4, Latin text and English translation (modified to follow the Latin more closely and be more easily readable) from Campbell (1949). The Latin text at Bibliotheca Augustana differs in a few instances.

Subsequent quotes above are from Encomium Emmae Reginae: Argument ll. 7-9 (Who can deny that the Aeneid…), Book 2.16.1-8 (The king lacked nothing except for a most noble spouse…), 2.16.10-7 (Pleaders were sent to the lady…), 2.16.18-23 (Gaul rejoiced…), and Argument 30 (being in all things obedient…).

[8] Orchard (2001) p. 161. Encomium Emmae Reginae mentions eight times Svein Forkbeard, King of Denmark and the father of Cnut the Great. It also mentions eight times the Danish Viking warrior leader Thorkell the Tall. Id.

[9] Emma of Normandy (Ælfgifu), the child of Richard I (Richard the Fearless), the Count of Rouen, and Gunnor, the Duchess of Normandy. Emma had three children with King Æthelred the Unready: Edward the Confessor, Godgifu (Goda), and Alfred Aetheling. Queen Emma became extremely wealthy. She had vast landholdings in England and had a large household of subservient men and women. Stafford (1997) Ch. 5 and Appendix II. On Emma’s relations with her children, Beaumont (2006) pp. 194-232.

[10] Emma of Normandy’s marriage to Cnut the Great didn’t bring peace to England in the long term. The Norman conquest in 1066 ended Anglo-Saxon England.

[11] According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, entry for 1017 in Manuscript D: “The king ordered King Æthelred’s widow, Richard’s daughter, to be fetched to him as his wife {het se cyng feccan him Æðelredes lafe þes oðres cynges him to cwene Ricardes dohtor}.” Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Manuscript C and Manuscript E have similar entries. The Old English phrase “fetched {het feccan}” in relation to persons “is always used of those at some serious social or other disadvantage.” Orchid (2001) p. 176. Evidence suggests that Emma was under siege in London when Cnut fetched her for marriage. Id. pp. 176-82.

Modern historians have joined with the encomiast in boosting Queen Emma. A leading Anglo-Saxon historian declared:

when we seek to judge the Encomium as a historical source, there is little to be gained from censuring the author for his ‘suppression’ of Emma’s marriage to Æthelred, or for the various misconceptions which pervade his account of the Scandinavian conquest of England, or for seeming to represent Edward and Alfred as sons of Emma and Cnut. We should marvel, instead, at the wondrous audacity which lies behind the Encomiast’s exposition of events which took place in the the 1030s, for example in the invention of the forged letter from Emma to her children, or in his treatment of Earl Godwine’s part in the story of Alfred’s capture and death, and we should relish the thought that Emma should have commissioned a work of this nature in order to secure her political objectives. The Encomium represents the triumph of literary artifice over historical truth… .

Simon Keynes, Introduction, p. lxxi, in 1998 reprint of Campbell (1949). We might also marvel, in the midst of grossly gender disproportionate incarceration of men, at the “wondrous audacity” of mass-media reports that a large share of men confess to raping women. A you-go-girl presentation is particularly favored in mass publications:

Her version of history suggests how she managed to make herself indispensable. The Encomium reveals an active and forceful medieval woman participating in the writing of history, reshaping the story of her own life in a way that suited her interests.

Parker (2017). Tyler significantly observed:

It is this self-conscious view of made-up stories on the part of the Encomiast that I would like to underline. While many of his fictions have long been recognized as such by scholars, I do not think we have recognized how openly and deliberately fictional the Encomium is.

Tyler (2017) p. 58. Many public beliefs today are similarly openly and delibertely fictional.

[image] Emma of Normandy receiving Encomium Emmae Reginae from its author. Her sons Harthacnut (by Cnut the Great) and Edward the Confessor (by Æthelred the Unready) observe. From folio 1v (color adjusted) of British Library, MS. Additional 33241.

References:

Beaumont, Naomi. 2006. Mothers, mothering and motherhood in late Anglo-Saxon England. PhD thesis, University of York

Campbell, Alistair, ed. and trans. 1949. Encomium Emmae reginae. London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society.

Chiappiniello, Roberto, 2007. “The Carmen ad uxorem and the Genre of the Epithalamium.” Ch. 5 (pp. 115-38) in Otten, Willemien, and Karla Pollmann, eds. Poetry and Exegesis in Premodern Latin Christianity: the encounter between classical and Christian strategies of interpretation. Leiden: Brill.

Giles, J. A, trans. 1848. Six old English Chronicles; of which two are now first translated from the Monkish Latin originals. London: Bell & Daldy. Reprinting of Giles’s Annals of the Reign of Alfred the Great.

Hartel, Guilelmus de, ed. 1894. Sancti Pontii Meropii Paulini Nolani, Carmina. Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL) 30. Vindobonae: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Keynes, Simon, and Michael Lapidge, trans. 1983. Alfred the Great: Asser’s Life of King Alfred and other contemporary sources. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Martin, Christopher John. 2016. Un-editing Alfred: rethinking modern editions of pre-modern texts from a post-modern sensibility. Ph.D. Thesis. Department of English, University of Washington.

Nelson, Janet L. 2004. “Entry for Eadburh [Eadburga].” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Orchard, Andy. 2001. “The Literary Background to the Encomium Emmae Reginae.” The Journal of Medieval Latin. 11: 156-183.

Page, R. I. 1983. “Matthew Parker’s Copy of Prosper His Meditation With His Wife.” Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society. 8 (3): 342-349.

Parker, Eleanor. 2017. “Out of the Margins: The Queen’s Encomium.” History Today. 67 (5) / May 2017. Online.

Rabin, Andrew. 2009. “Female Advocacy and Royal Protection in Tenth-Century England: The Legal Career of Queen Ælfthryth.” Speculum. 84 (2): 261-288.

Schrunk Ericksen, Janet. 2019. “A Textbook Stance on Marriage: The Versus ad coniugem in Anglo-Saxon England.” Ch. 5 (pp. 97-112) in Kozikowski, Christine E., and Helene Scheck, eds. New Readings on Women and Early Medieval English Literature and Culture: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Honour of Helen Damico. Leeds: Arc Humanities Press. (introduction)

Stafford, Pauline. 1997. Queen Emma and Queen Edith: queenship and women’s power in eleventh-century England. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.

Stafford, Pauline. 1981. “The King’s Wife in Wessex 800-1066.” Past & Present. 91 (1): 3-27.

Stevenson, William Henry, ed. 1904. Asser, Bishop of Sherborne. Life of King Alfred. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Tyler, Elizabeth M. 2017. England in Europe: English royal women and literary patronage, c.1000-c.1150. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

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