Sunday, February 5, 2012
Love and courtship
As Valentine's Day approaches, it got me to thinking of courtship and love -- and of how men treated women in medieval times. I'd like to think men have always respected women as they deserved, but alas, that is not the case. Back in medieval times women were property, plain and simple. They were either "purchased" if they were of noble birth or subjected to the rule of men in their family or those of higher nobility.
Women were the heart of the family in all things. Times haven't changed much in that regard, have they? We're still the heart -- taking care of our men and handling all matters.
Then came the crusades. I suppose we women should be thankful for them (though they certainly did not attain what the church had set out accomplish)... Men learned much on the long journey to fight for what they believed religious salvation. What they learned and what women learned upon their return was their men missed them. And so began the rights of courtship.
Men began their objective of winning the hand of their fair lady. To risk one's life in a joust, in a duel to death, in political dealings...men wagered much back then. Perhaps women (I'd like to think) made them try a little too hard. Many a men sent a verse of prose, revealing their heart's desire (or hired someone to write it for them). Times haven't changed much. I doubt most men have a flair for writing love notes.
Declarations of love were assuredly for more purposes than pleasure. And boy did we women fall for it. I suppose the gallantry would have won me over.
And so as this Valentine's Day approaches and the thought of love comes to our minds, I hope with all my heart that what those poor men subjected themselves to was and still is today -- cherished.
Find out how a medieval warrior attests his love and how she brings him to his knees in One and Only, a Scottish romance, a new book by Kara Griffin. Coming soon.