A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Middle Ages

A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Middle Ages, Volume 2

by Ruth Evans

Ruth Evans is Dorothy McBride Orthwein Chair of English at St Louis University, USA. She has recently co-edited Medieval Virginities, Medieval Cultural Studies and Secrets, Mysteries and Silences. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2011
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    9-781-3500-4967-3 (online)

    978-1-8478-8801-3 (hardback)

    978-1-4725-5477-2 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Middle Ages
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Historians of sexuality have often assumed that medieval people were less interested in sex than we are. But people in the Middle Ages wrote a great deal about sex: in confessors’ manuals, in virginity treatises, and in literary texts. This volume looks afresh at the cultural meanings that sex had throughout the period, presenting new evidence and offering new interpretations of known material. Acknowledging that many of the categories that we use today to talk about sexuality are inadequate for understanding sex in premodern times, the volume draws on important recent work in the historiography of medieval sexuality to address the conceptual and methodological challenges the period presents.

A Cultural History of Sexuality in the Middle Ages presents an overview of the period with essays on heterosexuality, homosexuality, sexual variations, religious and legal issues, health concerns, popular beliefs about sexuality, prostitution and erotica.