Boccaccio, Giovanni and John Payne (Trans.). The Decameron. New York: Walter Black Inc., n.d. Kindle.
Boccaccio is considered as Chaucer’s counterpart in Italy. The book is a compilation of tales like The Canterbury Tales. He writes of the decadent side of women during the Medieval Age. Almost all of the 100 (Decameron) stories—10 stories for each of the 10 days—are about some illicit affair. Even nuns in a convent get involved with a man. The women in the stories seem to be mostly from the middle or upper class of Italian society. The stories are irreverent descriptions of the nobility and the Church. This book is included because England does not represent the whole of Europe or the entire Medieval Age. The Decameron are stories from Italy, center of Europe.
Bowman, Florence L. Britain in the Middle Ages. 2nd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920. Web. 1 Nov 2014. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40371/40371-h/40371-h.htm>.
The book is about the history of England from the time of the Roman Empire until the Middle Ages. It is mainly about war. It is also about the people—mainly men—in power. The book is included because it puts into context what was going on in the world during the period, the context why people of that time behave in a certain way.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales, and Other Poems. Ed. D. Laing Purves. Public Domain Book, n.d. Kindle.
The book is a compilation of stories about people from various classes. The stories show how the rich and the peasants live during the Middle Ages. Various stories—like those of the knight, the prioress and the wife—show how women may truly feel and want: to dominate men. The book is included as required. It is also here because many of the stories show a candid picture of the people during the period.
Durant, Will. "The Story of Civilization: The Age of Faith." Durant, Will and Ariel Durant. The Complete Story of Civilization. Vol. IV. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014. XI vols. Kindle.
The entire book is about the Middle Ages. It is a social history and narrated not only the events and politics of the period, but also the art, culture and way of the people back then. It covers not only England but the entire Europe. The book portrays women as fairly pious and becoming. That was expected of them. The Catholic Church practically ruled all over Europe then. He points out the Canterbury Tales and the Decameron as two collection of stories that somewhat captured the spirit of the period. He notes how strong-headed some women were at the time, even some nuns disobey orders. The prioress in Canterbury Tales depicts how some women or nuns could be like. The prioress should not have been there on the return journey from the crusade as they were forbidden. Durant also reveals that some women joined their husbands on the way to the crusades. The book is included because, unlike the Canterbury Tales and the Decameron, it is not a fictional account of history. It contains facts based on historical documents.
Jacob, P.L. Manners, Customs, and Dress during the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance. Public Domain Book, n.d. Kindle. 1 Nov 2014. <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10940>.
The book is a compilation of various activities that people engage in during leisure, family and business time. It describes the manner of dressing and behavior, and how women should place themselves in various situations. It also has examples of women playing strange roles like as an executioner. The book is included because it provides an image of what people look like during the period. It helps the readers understand better the accounts in other books.
Melissa Rank, Michael Rank. The Most Powerful Women in the Middle Ages: Queens, Saints, and Viking Slayers, from Empress Theodora to Elizabeth of Tudor. Five Minute Books, 2013. Kindle.
The book tries to contradict that women were usually just locked up in their homes during the Middle Ages. The stories however go beyond the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. They include those of St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Isabel. The book is an introductory history book that even young people could read. The book is included because it shows that women during the period may not have be really strictly restrained during those times. These women would not have risen in power if they were restricted to.
Power, Eileen. Medieval People. Project Gutenberg, 2004. Web, e-Book. 1 Nov 2014. <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13144/13144-h/13144-h.htm>.