This article presents some results of research focussing on the mobility of women in the late medieval Low Countries. Using gender as a category, it analyses Latin literature of the 13th century (proverbs, didactic treatises, exempla and saints' lives) for representations of women's mobility and accounts of their travels. Evidence from these sources suggests that it was taken for granted that women did indeed travel, even to distant destinations, and for many different reasons, although the paradigmatic traveller was always thought of as male. At the same time, the texts also testify to a desire to curtail women's freedom of movement, especially when these women were young, beautiful or pious. This desire seems to have been inspired by a secular, paternalistic urge to protect women's virginity and chastity, and to avoid dishonor for both the women themselves and their families.
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