The medieval huntress
New research (as of 2009) has revealed that hunting was far from a male preserve in the medieval and Renaissance periods. Richard Almond looks at images that illustrate the various roles played by women
Hunting for sport, food and raw materials was a universal occupation in the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. However, medieval hunting manuals and treatises, as well as contemporary narratives and romances – the vast majority of which were written by men – present hunting as the exclusive leisure prerogative of noble educated males. These sources ignore women’s roles in, and presence at, the hunt – and disregard any significant involvement of the commons (those who were not clergy, nobility or knights).