Alison More, Fictive Orders and Feminine Religious Identities, 1200-1600 (Oxford UP, 2018)
From the publisher:
Any visitor to Belgium or the Netherlands is immediately struck by the number of convents and beguinages (begijnhoven) in both major cities and small towns. Their number and location in urban centres suggests that the women who inhabited them once held a prominent role. Despite leaving a visible mark on cities in Europe, much of the story of these women - known variously as beguines, tertiaries, klopjes, recluses, and anchoresses--remains to be told. Instead of aspiring to live as traditional religious, they transcended normative assumptions about religion and gender and had a very real impact on their religious and secular worlds. The sources for their tale are often fragmentary and difficult to interpret. However, careful scrutiny allows their voices to be heard.