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The Personal Correspondence of Hildegard of Bingen, edited by Joseph Baird; Oxford University Press, 2006, $39.95. During the last few decades, historians have translated primary sources which suggest something happened to the role of women during the Middle Ages, particularly during a period often referred to as the High Middle Ages (1000–1299 AD); a period of rapid population and economic growth, urbanisation, rise of centralised government, and struggle for control between church and state. The relative tolerance of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries gave way to increasing pressure for unity and conformity from all classes. For example, earlier on,…

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