Book Review: Women in the Viking Age
- Points on women in that age discussed in the book
- Research for the book
Women in the Viking Age by Judith Jesch is a detailed and informative publication that discusses women during the Viking Age through the close examination of a vast amount of resources. Judith Jesch is currently teaching at the University of Nottingham, and has extensive experience in a variety of publications. These works include authored books, edited books, articles in journals, chapters in edited books, short pieces, reviews, and literary as well as scholarly translations. In her own words as stated on the University of Nottingham website, Jesch's interests include ?the language, literature, and history of the Viking Age, and medieval Scandinavia and Iceland?. Furthermore, Jesch admit that she enjoys ?reading old manuscripts?studying rune stones in situ? and ?looking at archaeological sites?. Jesch's obvious interest in all areas of the subject matter permeate her work, as it provides in depth research from both archaeological sites and cultural sources, such as poetry and other documents.
[...] Furthermore, women were most likely buried in their best clothes, so the reconstruction of clothing from burials may not reflect normal, every day life. Also, Jesch cautions that choice of objects may simply represent a local or temporary fashion in grave goods? (19). There is also a possible symbolic function of the grave goods that may be hard to infer. Grave goods especially leave an incomplete picture because Many types of work carried out by women leave no trace in burials, such as taking care of the home and raising children. [...]
[...] Jesch contends that ?since the stones give us so little private information about either the commissioners or the commemorated, they are not good sources of information about the everyday lives of women in the Viking (64). However, Jesch does reason that they important documents that record the names and some of the details of the lives of women in the Viking (75). During the discussion of names of people, Jesch explains that by looking at documents from Scandinavian settlements in England, one can look for female Scandinavian names and infer populations of women that left their homeland to colonize abroad. [...]