Laurie Finke examines women's writing not only in traditional genres like poetry, drama, and romance but in a variety of genres which are often excluded from literary canons including medical treatises, correspondence, and the visionary and devotional genres in which women wrote most prolifically. Introductory chapters describe medieval cultural stereotypes of women, and the material conditions of women's lives in England throughout the Middle Ages. Major writers examined include Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, and the Paston women. In addition, the book examines the influence on English literary history of major continental writers like Marie de France and Christine de Pizan. The book includes a chronology and also an extensive bibliography which lists manuscript sources, editions, and critical studies of medieval women writers.