Publication – Constance Brittain Bouchard, « Negotiation and Resistance. Peasant Agency in High Medieval France »

In Negotiation and Resistance, Constance Brittain Bouchard challenges familiar depictions of the peasantry as an undifferentiated mass of impoverished and powerless workers. Peasants in eleventh- and twelfth-century France had far more scope for action, self-determination, and resistance to oppressive treatment—that is, for agency—than they are usually credited with having. Through innovative readings of documents collected in medieval cartularies, Bouchard finds that while peasants lived hard, impoverished lives, they were able to negotiate, individually or collectively, to better their position, present cases in court, and make their own decisions about such fundamental issues as inheritance or choice of marriage partner. Negotiation and Resistance upends the received view of this period in French history as one in which lords dealt harshly and without opposition toward subservient peasants, offering numerous examples of peasants standing up for themselves.

Constance Brittain Bouchard is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History at the University of Akron and the author or editor of numerous books including Sword, Miter, and Cloister, Holy Entrepreneurs, and Strong of Body, Brave and Noble.

Informations pratiques :

Constance Brittain Bouchard, Negotiation and Resistance. Peasant Agency in High Medieval France, Ithaca (NY), Cornell Unievrsity Press, 2022 ; 1 vol., 186 p. ISBN : 978-1-50176-658-9. Prix : USD 125,00.

Source : Cornell University Press

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