November meeting – The Paston Women

This month we welcome back Elizabeth McDonald with the third of her series of talks on one of Norfolk’s great medieval families, the Pastons.

If you ever thought that the Medieval period was of full damsels in distress then the Paston women are here to prove you wrong; often in distress they rarely wasted time by waiting to be rescued! Strong-willed, occasionally cantankerous, nearly always formidable, these women were the backbone of a family striving (and often dramatically failing) to climb a slippery social ladder. This talk will focus on four of the Paston women and tease out (from their own letters) what it meant to be a gentlewoman during the turbulent Wars of the Roses.

Caister Castle (c) Britain Express & David Ross

Having gained her BA in English Literature at the UEA Elizabeth went on to complete an MA in Medieval Writing and Culture. She is currently approaching the end of her PhD, also at the UEA, which focuses on the literature and literary network of the Paston family in the fifteenth century.

We’re meeting at Needham Village Hall, High Road, Needham, IP20 9LB on Saturday November 11th at 2.00pm, All welcome. Members £2.00, non-members £3.00. The usual refreshments will be available. Biscuit of the month will not on this occasion be pink wafers.

Header picture: The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pisan, the Britiish Library, Harley MS 4431



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