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Women in the Medieval Islamic World [Paperback]

Gavin R. G. Hambly

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Book Description

Oct. 29 1999 New Middle Ages
Women often appear invisible in what is widely perceived as the male-oriented society of Islam. Women in the Medieval Islamic World seeks to redress the balance with a series of original essays on women in the pre-modern phase of Islamic history. The reader will encounter here a colorful portrait gallery of rulers, politicians, poets and patrons, as well as some larger than life fictitious females from the pages of Arabic, Persian and Turkish literature. No less authentic are the accounts of quiet or troubled lives of ordinary women preserved in the court records of Mamluk Egypt and Ottoman Turkey, reminders that historical research can resuscitate the lives of subaltern as well as elite women from the past.

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From Library Journal

Americans and Europeans have long harbored a stereotype of the Islamic woman as a passive creature, without rights, veiled and locked away in a harem. While some contemporary Islamic regimes have helped foster this image, the true portrait of Islamic women is far richer and more diverse. This volume, to which 20 scholars have contributed, is part of "The New Middle Ages," a series of transdisciplinary studies of medieval cultures with an emphasis on recovering women's roles in these societies. It shows that the range of activities that medieval Islamic women engaged in was not inferior to that pursued by women in Europe. We are presented with stories of fictitious and historical women as tribal warriors, rulers of states, builders of religious and cultural edifices, and armed retainers guarding the families and property of male Muslim rulers. Most overviews of Islam have offered little coverage of the lives of Muslim women, but this work goes a long way toward rectifying that oversight. Both students of Islam and of women's studies should find this anthology useful and interesting. Recommended for academic and large public libraries with significant holdings in Islamic and women's studies.?Robert Andrews, Duluth P.L., MN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“A tantalizing glimpse into the forgotten world of women in Islamic history.” —Choice

“This collection is a welcome contribution to the study of women and medieval Islam.” —MELA Notes

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First Sentence
Most general overviews of Islamic history, and perhaps especially those to which students are first introduced, have little or nothing to say about the lives of women. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully done Dec 21 2012
By Carrie - Published on Amazon.com
I was blessed to have many classes under Dr. Hambly's watchful eye over 20 years ago and he still inspires me today. This book is very well crafted and his love and deep knowledge for his subject base resonates. I highly recommend it.

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