Norman ladies shoes

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PhilipOfYate
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Norman ladies shoes

Post by PhilipOfYate »

Hi, quick question, did norman women wear shoes that were ankle height, similar to men, or were they lower with a strap over the top? A lot of places sell the lower ones (similar to those called 'ladies shoes' on the get dressed for battle site) but i don't know if they are of a later period. Thanks for help, Phil
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Tuppence
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Post by Tuppence »

both, but depends on the circumstances and of course which bit of norman you're talking (it ain't a short period).
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Alice the Huswyf
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Post by Alice the Huswyf »

Contact Ana Period Shoes for nice ready made Norman Shoes

But listen to Tuppence !
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Sophia
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Post by Sophia »

Ana makes wonderful shoes I have a pair of her late medievals with matching pattens. If you tell her exactly which period you are doing and your social rank she will advise on shoes.

I keep teasing the Husband that I will have to take up an earlier period just to justify a pair of her gorgeous C9th-C11th slippers :twisted:
aka Thomasin Chedzoy, Tailor at Kentwell Hall

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Tuppence
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Post by Tuppence »

personally, have just (well, 'bout a month ago) ordered my new norman shoes form morgan.

http://www.plantagenetshoes.freeserve.co.uk
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Post by Nigel »

My candid and buy once

Morgan
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Brother Ranulf
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Norman Ladies' Shoes

Post by Brother Ranulf »

By "Norman Women" I take it you mean noblewomen.

My research over many years into Anglo-Norman costume of the 12th century has included the shoe finds from York and the Thames area of London (some of which appear in the Museum of London book on shoes and pattens), plus literally hundreds of wall paintings, carvings, personal seals and manuscript illustrations from England and Normandy, many of which are now housed in museums all over the world.

Not one example of a shoe with a strap over the instep appears in any of the primary sources for this period - women almost always wear the standard slightly pointed "turnshoe" ankle boot with a lace around the ankle, or the slip-on shoe or slipper which comes to below the ankle and has no fastening (exactly like the fashions of men's shoes). Both types can have a strip of silk embroidery along the instep, sometimes with additional dots and scrolls each side, and often with fancy stitching around the upper edge of the shoe. These shoes are always without a heel, so perfectly flat on the sole.

A style which is never seen on the feet of females of the time is the turnshoe with a "cutout" on the instep, worn by noblemen and royalty to display the elaborately-patterned footed hose within. Since women did not wear footed hose, such a style would have been unacceptable for them to wear (in the sense that the Church would have been horrified at such a disgraceful revelation of female flesh).

Strangely, embroidered shoes are shown being worn by all levels of Anglo-Norman society, not just the upper classes. The Museum of London book confirms this idea, suggesting that the finds with this embroidery are so common that such decoration must have been very widely available.
Brother Ranulf

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DeviantShrub
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Re: Norman Ladies' Shoes

Post by DeviantShrub »

Brother Ranulf wrote:Since women did not wear footed hose....
What evidence is there to suggest this? Obviously I've not researched everything there is to research but I'm not aware of any conclusive evidence about women's hose one way or the other.

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Post by Nigel »

with you on this one Helen

I'll point Debs at it too

me thinks borther ranulf is talking rubbish unless of course he has some nice evidence we ahve not come accross yet
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Post by Tuppence »

By "Norman Women" I take it you mean noblewomen.
Why?


These shoes are always without a heel, so perfectly flat on the sole.
As are virtually all shoes of this date, afaik.

Strangely, embroidered shoes are shown being worn by all levels of Anglo-Norman society, not just the upper classes. The Museum of London book confirms this idea, suggesting that the finds with this embroidery are so common that such decoration must have been very widely available.
Although I'm not negating the possiblity (poor people were just as capable of doign embroidery as the rich were), how can you be so certain from an examination of secondary pictorial evidence that the decoration is embroidery, and not something else?

Brother Ranulf wrote:
Since women did not wear footed hose....


What evidence is there to suggest this? Obviously I've not researched everything there is to research but I'm not aware of any conclusive evidence about women's hose one way or the other.

ditto.

Although I doubt there's anybody in the country that has done an exhaustive search on this, and I certainly haven't, (it could take years), although I've looked at more Norman clothing than many have, I'd be interested in what your primary source or contemporary evidence is to back this up.
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Brother Ranulf
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Norman Ladies'Shoes

Post by Brother Ranulf »

My thanks to "Tuppence" for allowing that there may be even a remote possibility that someone in the country has done exhaustive research on all aspects of the 12th century in Anglo-Norman England and that it could take years - it has.

I would answer all of the points rased but the reply would take up several pages of text which I doubt anyone would bother to read, so I will concentrate on females and hose.

First, I would emphasise that when I began my research I resolved to use only primary evidence; further, that I would exclude anything which originates outside England or Normandy. For example, Chartres cathedral is excellent evidence for the dress of some French royalty at a particular time period, but has no connection at all with any costume outside France - and at this time France was almost completely confined to the Vexin area.

Second, you need to access (as I did) the entire corpus of Anglo-Norman literature, including all the works of Alexander Neckham and Gerald of Wales which were written for an Anglo-Norman audience (for which you will need to learn 12th century Latin, including all those conventional abbreviations, as many of these books have not yet been published in translation) and all the works written in England by Marie de France and other writers (for which you will need to learn Anglo-Norman French and get access to a really good dictionary in that language).

Next, sort out the several confusing terms in A-N F for "hose" and cross-reference all mentions of the garments in the literature; note how many times it occurrs in connection with men (there are many) and then note how many times it occurrs in connection with women (absolutely none). An example would be in the 12th century 'Le Roman de toute Chevalerie' by Thomas of Kent. Again, disregard anything written in Germany or other parts of Europe.

Then, look for references to what women actually wore. Here Thomas of Kent and Marie de France are invaluable as they write firsthand about such things and used extremely descriptive language to emphasise their point - an example would be "...she was nude under her chainse ..." (from the Lai de Yonek written in England between 1170 and 1205).

I would challenge anyone reading this to provide incontravertible primary evidence from England or Normandy for the wearing of hose by the women of any social class in 12th century England - to quote the eminent historian J.H Round M. A. in his classic work "Feudal England", "Many people seem to thing a thing is proved if it can not be disproved . . . very few see that in a great many cases we ought to be satisfied with a negative result. The question is whether a statement can be proved, not whether it can be disproved". So I repeat the challenge - prove that women wore hose (and the means to keep them up), or risk being accused, as seems to be the norm, of talking rubbish.
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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DeviantShrub
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Post by DeviantShrub »

First up, in the absence of facial expression, I'm not nit-picking, I'm genuinely curious!.

Amidst the great long tract telling us how wide-read you are, you've given one quote from Marie de France's "Lai de Yonek" to support the argument that women didn't wear hose. Maybe I'm easily disappointed, but I was hoping for a bit more than that. ;)

I've just skim-read a translation : http://www.english.ufl.edu/exemplaria/marie/yonec.pdf in which the line is translated "aside from her shift she was nude" which suggests to me that she's jumping out the window clad only in her undies, the important bit being that she's without anything over the top? I'm not a language scholar, but my pedantic self would love to see what the orginal passage said, if you have a copy?

The thing with hose, as with anything else women wore under their dresses, is you can't see it - not in manuscript pictures and rarely in writing. Does that mean it wasn't there?

I wonder, does anyone have any later mediaeval evidence for women's leg coverings?



[edited solely to tidy up a mis-type]
Last edited by DeviantShrub on Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sally
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Post by sally »

DeviantShrub wrote:
I wonder, does anyone have any later mediaeval evidence for women's leg coverings?
yep, I have an illustration somewhere of a woman having her hair pulled (I think its a romance of the rose one) that clearly shows her knee high cloth hose and garters. Much much later of course, think its 15thC offhand

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Xioumi
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Post by Xioumi »

I wonder, does anyone have any later mediaeval evidence for women's leg coverings?
You can also see a pair on a woman in the Tres Riches Heures winter scene. The one where two women and a man are sharing the communal facilities. You can tell it's definately a woman as she and the man are helpfully showing off their anatomical differences.
As to whether norman women would have had the means to keep hose up - garters??!!
I am not disputing your research Brother and I very very rarely like to invoke LENEL but from a practical standpoint ie; keeping warm I find it odd that men would wear hose and women definately not. But this is not my period of interest and I have not studied it as much as I have other periods so I will defer to those who have.
Amanda

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Mark GRaves
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Post by Mark GRaves »

OK, I know that strictly speaking it's French (Paris, 1250-ish), and not England or Normandy, but the Maciejowski Bible shows horizontally striped hose (in some form) on women, peaking out between dress and shoe.

Obviously this doesn't help with how high they go (below knee or above etc), but given the cut of the shoes illustrated, a reasonable interpretion would be that the hose were footed.

Other possibles (but again specifically not England or Normandy)

Nicostrate is deceived by his wife in the Decameron (BNF Fr. 239, fol. 204), 15th century (http://gallica.bnf.fr/scripts/mediator. ... 4&I=000047)

and

February in the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, c. 1412-1416

(http://medieval.mrugala.net/Enluminures ... evrier.jpg)
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Brother Ranulf
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Norman Ladies' Shoes

Post by Brother Ranulf »

["Maybe I'm easily disappointed, but I was hoping for a bit more than that."]

I was lucky enough to take early retirement from a high-pressure office job seven years ago and immediately set myself the task of researching the Anglo-Norman 12th century on a full-time basis. The reasons were many, not least because there are currently no published studies devoted to that period of our history (look for any book devoted to 12th century English costume or furniture or anything else on Amazon and you will draw a complete blank).

My aim is to publish a series of books on different aspects of the period from Henry I to Richard I, including dress, architecture, coins, horse harness, buckets, weapons such as polearms, shoes, cressets and much more.

So you will certainly "get a bit more than that", but you will have to await publication. Incidentally, I am prepared to amend my draft on female underwear if anyone comes up with the evidence for hose or braies in 12th century England.[/quote]
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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