An examination of women’s piety as depicted in medieval and early modern stained glass.
This thesis explores the impact of gender and religious piety on expressions of women’s agency in Late Medieval and Early Modern England. Chapter One introduces Oxfordshire stained glass as the area of inquiry, with the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA) database serving as the primary source reference. Both the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York and the British Academy collaborate on this database. The next three chapters investigate portrayals of donors, biblical figures, and non-biblical figures. Each chapter demonstrates that depictions of women and men generally remain uniform across time. That said, the chapters also show that depictions of women changed in small ways that images of men did not. Subtle changes reveal that gender forced Late Medieval and Early Modern women to be creative with their religious expressions, while piety provided women an internalized outlet to express their agency within the church.