Kaplan Book Cover


Published by Liverpool UP in December 2022, Women’s Libraries in Late Medieval Bourbonnais, Burgundy, and France: A Family Affair examines the wide cultural, literary, and familial webs influencing fifteenth-century high- and mid-level female aristocrats’ acquisition of books. It considers the roles of gifting and borrowing, reading trends, and women’s impact on female and male literary culture, rewriting many assumptions about women’s contributions to fifteenth-century book collections. It clarifies the powerful role that women played in the formation of important intellectual edifices in French-speaking regions through its innovative assessment of women’s reading on a multi-familial, multi-generational scale. This project also comprises digital humanities components; it draws primarily on Books of Duchesses: Mapping Women Book Owners, 1350-1550 (booksofduchesses.com), which collects, organizes, and visualizes data about medieval laywomen and their books, and the social, material, and geographical relationships between readers and texts.