Women And Authority In Early Modern Spain: The Peasants Of Galicia

Hardcover | October 15, 2005

byPoska, Allyson M.

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While scholars have marvelled at how accused witches, mystical nuns, and aristocratic women understood and used their wealth, power, and authority to manipulate both men and institutions, most early modern women were not privileged by money or supernatural contacts. They led the routine andoften difficult lives of peasant women and wives of soldiers and tradesmen. However, a lack of connections to the typical sources of authority did not mean that the majority of early modern women were completely disempowered. Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain explores how peasant women in Galicia in north-western Spain came to have significant social and economic authority in a region characterized by extremely high rates of male migration. Using a wide array of archival documentation, including Inquisitionrecords, wills, dowry contracts, folklore, and court cases, Poska examines how peasant women asserted and perceived their authority within the family and the community and how the large numbers of female-headed households in the region functioned in the absence of men. From sexual norms to propertyaquisition, Galician peasant women consistently defied traditional expectations of women's behaviour.

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While scholars have marvelled at how accused witches, mystical nuns, and aristocratic women understood and used their wealth, power, and authority to manipulate both men and institutions, most early modern women were not privileged by money or supernatural contacts. They led the routine andoften difficult lives of peasant women and wiv...

Allyson M. Poska is Professor of History at the University of Mary Washington in Fredricksburg, Virginia.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.83 inPublished:October 15, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199265313

ISBN - 13:9780199265312

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Gendering Peasant Society1. Women without Men2. Single Women and Property3. Sex and the Single Woman4. 'A married man is a woman': Gender Tensions in Galician Marriages5. Widowhood6. Modelling Female Authority7. Beyond FinisterreBibliographyIndex