This is a study of marriage litigation (with some reference to sexual offenses) in the archiepiscopal court of York (1300-1500) and the episcopal courts of Ely (1374-1381), Paris (1384-1387), Cambrai (1438-1453), and Brussels (1448-1459). All these courts were, for the most part, correctly applying the late medieval canon law of marriage, but statistical analysis of the cases and results confirms that there were substantial differences both in the types of cases the courts heard and the results they reached. Marriages in England in the later middle ages were often under the control of the parties to the marriage, whereas those in northern France and southern Netherlands were often under the control of the parties' families and social superiors. Within this broad generalization the book brings to light patterns of late medieval men and women manipulating each other and the courts to produce extraordinarily varied results.
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(234mm x 156mm x 47mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Charles Donahue, Jr.
Charles Donahue, Jr., is the Paul A. Freund Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and president of the American Society of Legal History until December 2007. Among other books, he is the coauthor or coeditor of Select Cases of the Ecclesiastical Courts of the Province of Canterbury, c. 1200-1301; Year Books of Richard II: 6 Richard II, 1382-1383; The Records of the Medieval Ecclesiastical Courts, and Cases and Materials on Property: An Introduction to the Concept and the Institution. He is also the author of more than seventy articles in the fields of ancient, medieval, and early modern legal history. Donahue teaches legal history in both the Law School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard and has taught at the University of Michigan, the London School of Economics, the Vrije Universiteit te Brussel, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, Boston College, and Cornell University. Donahue is vice-president and literary director of the Ames Foundation and a councillor of the Selden Society (UK). He is a life member of the American Law Institute and the Medieval Academy of America, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a previous Guggenheim Fellow.