The letters of the Rozmberk sisters, Perchta and Anézka, give a vivid insight into how medieval women viewed themselves. Perchta's letters inform her father that his choice of a husband for her has caused her desperate sadness and sorrow in which death seems a better alternative. Despite her unhappiness and her almost total dependence on others, however, Perchta undertook to take control of her own fate and to improve the circumstances of her life. Her letters were the means whereby she informed her father and brothers of her misery and persuaded them to take action, and in the process they tell us about her expectations of respect and companionship in marriage. The letters of both sisters show them to be women with a vigorous sense of their own dignity and offer insights into the hopes and disappointments, joys and vexations of fifteenth-century women. The letters also introduce theenvironment and the activities of daily castle life, and offer an intimate picture of family life in the fifteenth century.JOHN M. KLASSEN is Professor of History at Trinity Western University, Canada. He was assisted in the translations by EVA DOLEZALOVA, Historical Institue, Prague, and LYNN SZABO, Trinity Western University.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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