18 June 2018

BOOK: Mia KORPIOLA & Anu LAHTINEN, Planning for Death. Wills and Death-Related Property Arrangements in Europe, 1200-1600 [Medieval Law and its Practice, vol. 63] (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/Brill, 2018), ISBN 9789004365704, € 100

(image source: Brill)

Book abstract:
The volume Planning for Death: Wills and Death-Related Property Arrangements in Europe, 1200-1600 analyses death-related property transfers in several European regions (England, Poland, Italy, South Tirol, and Sweden). Laws and customary practice provided a legal framework for all post-mortem property devolution. However, personal preference and varied succession strategies meant that individuals could plan for death by various legal means. These individual legal acts could include matrimonial property arrangements (marriage contracts, morning gifts) and legal means of altering heirship by subtracting or adding heirs. Wills and testamentary practice are given special attention, while the volume also discusses the timing of the legal acts, suggesting that while some people made careful and timely arrangements, others only reacted to sudden events. Contributors are Christian Hagen, R.H. Helmholz, Mia Korpiola, Anu Lahtinen, Marko Lamberg, Margareth Lanzinger, Janine Maegraith, Federica Masè, Anthony Musson, Tuula Rantala, Elsa Trolle Önnerfors, and Jakub Wysmułek.

Table of contents:

Introduction By: Mia Korpiola and Anu Lahtinen
I: Range of Legal Options and Their Use
Inheritance Law, Wills, and Strategies of Heirship in Medieval Sweden
By: Mia Korpiola and Elsa Trolle Önnerfors Pages: 27–65
Monastic Donations by Widows: Morning Gifts as Assets in Planning for Old Age and Death in Fifteenth-Century Sweden
By: Tuula Rantala Pages: 66–87
Competing Interests in Death-Related Stipulations in South Tirol c. 1350–1600
By: Christian Hagen, Margareth Lanzinger and Janine Maegraith Pages: 88–118
II: Wills, Property Strategies, and Testamentary Practice
Medieval English Lawyers’ Wills and Property Strategies1 By: Anthony Musson Pages: 119–152
Men and Women Preparing for Death in Renaissance Venice (c. 1200–1600) By: Federica Masè Pages: 153–176
Mutual Testaments in Late Medieval Stockholm, c. 1420–15201 By: Marko Lamberg Pages: 177–210
III: Wills, Property, and Authority
Restricted Access Wills as Tools of Power: Development of Testamentary Practice in Krakow during the Late Middle Ages By: Jakub Wysmułek Pages: 211–238
Deathbed Strife and the Law of Wills in Medieval and Early Modern England By: R.H. Helmholz Pages: 239–257
The Will of Filippa Fleming (1578), Family Relations, and Swedish Inheritance Law1 By: Anu Lahtinen Pages: 258–277

On the editors:
Mia Korpiola, LL.D. (2004), University of Helsinki, is Professor of Legal History at the University of Turku. She had authored and edited several books, including Regional Variations in Matrimonial Law and Custom in Europe, 1150-1600 (Brill, 2011). Anu Lahtinen, Ph.D. (2007), University of Turku, is Professor of Finnish and Nordic History at the University of Helsinki. She has published on medieval and early modern history, including Dying Prepared in Medieval and Early Modern Northern Europe (Brill, 2017).

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