When Gossips Meet: Women, Family, and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England

Paperback | October 12, 2004

byBernard Capp

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This book explores how women of the poorer and middling sorts in early modern England negotiated a patriarchal culture in which they were generally excluded, marginalized, or subordinated. It focuses on the networks of close friends ('gossips') which gave them a social identity beyond thenarrowly domestic, providing both companionship and practical support in disputes with husbands and with neighbours of either sex. The book also examines the micropolitics of the household, with its internal alliances and feuds, and women's agency in neighbourhood politics, exercised by shapinglocal public opinion, exerting pressure on parish officials, and through the role of informal female juries. If women did not openly challenge male supremacy, they could often play a significant role in shaping their own lives and the life of the local community.

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This book explores how women of the poorer and middling sorts in early modern England negotiated a patriarchal culture in which they were generally excluded, marginalized, or subordinated. It focuses on the networks of close friends ('gossips') which gave them a social identity beyond thenarrowly domestic, providing both companionship ...

Bernard Capp is a Professor of History, University of Warwick.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:412 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.95 inPublished:October 12, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199273197

ISBN - 13:9780199273195

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Patriarchy and the World of Gossips3. Families and Gossips: The Experience of Marriage4. Maidservants and the Politics of the Household5. Women and Neighbours: Female Disputes6. Women and Neighbours: Disputes with Men7. Women as Citizens: Public and Political Life8. Recreation, Religion, and Female Culture9. ConclusionBibliography of Unpublished SourcesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`[Capp] draws on the records of the church courts, supplemented by a wide variety of other sources, to make up a penetrating, sensitive and brilliantly vivid picture of the prejudices and problems with which contemporary women were faced and the strategies they developed in coping with them.'Times Literary Supplement