Recent decades have seen a lot of studies of women in medieval and early modern society, and this has illuminated previously little understood aspects of urban life as well as that of rural communities and of social elites.
History Extra has republished online an article from the BBC History Magaxine from 2014 by the distinguished historian Professor Caroline Barron. It looks at the way in which in the century and a half after the Black Death some women at least in London enjoyed greater economic and the consequent enhanced social status than hitherto, or indeed their successors were to subsequently in the sixteenth century. The article looks not just at overall patterns but also at specific examples of doubtless fairly formidable mercantile matriarchs.
The article can be read at Post pandemic: how the years after the Black Death briefly became a ‘golden age’ for medieval women