Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720

Paperback | October 21, 1999

bySara Mendelson, Patricia Crawford

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What was life like for women who lived in Tudor and Stuart England? This fascinating book provides a colourful and comprehensive account of the daily experiences of these women, using first-hand sources such as diaries, letters, and household accounts. The authors investigate the varyingexpectations and opportunities that existed at different stages of women's lives; and examine a range of different themes: the role of female friendships and networks of support or censure; the ways in which women were affected by prevailing gender stereotypes; the diverse roles of women in thereligious and political movements of the times. The book focuses on the preoccupations of ordinary women, comparing the hand-to-mouth existence of the poorest with the ambitions and activities of those from wealthier backgrounds. These views on the world - the outlook of that half of the populationusually hidden from the historical record - provide a valuable new perspective on the history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-centu

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From Our Editors

These days, women have choices about what they want to do with their lives and wear many hats, including employee, boss, wife, mother and volunteer. But back in Shakespeare's day, a woman led a very different existence. Sara H. Medelsohn and Patricia Crawford examine the roles women were expected to play -- and that most were forced to...

From the Publisher

What was life like for women who lived in Tudor and Stuart England? This fascinating book provides a colourful and comprehensive account of the daily experiences of these women, using first-hand sources such as diaries, letters, and household accounts. The authors investigate the varyingexpectations and opportunities that existed at di...

Both highly respected in women's history field
Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.1 inPublished:October 21, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019820812X

ISBN - 13:9780198208129

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Table of Contents

Preface, acknowledgements, abbreviations, glossary, list of illustrationsIntroduction1. Contexts:- Medical theories; Religious teachings; The law and its administration; Citizenship; Popular notions; Stereotypes; Misogyny and patriarchy.2. Life Stages:- Childhood and Adolescence: Early years; Service; Courtship.3. Adult Life:- Marriage; Maternity; Single women; Widowhood; Old age; Death.4. Female Culture:- Space; Speech; Material culture; The practice of piety; Female friendship; Passionate friends and lesbian relationships; Female consciousness and feminism.5. The Makeshift Economy of Poor Women:- Work and gender; Poverty; Making a living; The indigent and destitute.6. Occupational Identities and Social Roles:- Running a household; Professional and skilled work: medical, educational, and cultural; Crafts, trades, and multiple occupations; Royal, civic, and institutional employment; Public housewifery.7. Politics:- Female monarchs; Aristocratic women: Queens consort and courtiers; Popular politics before 1640; Women and revolution, 1640-1660; Women in political movements, 1660-1720.ConclusionEpilogueSelect bibliography

From Our Editors

These days, women have choices about what they want to do with their lives and wear many hats, including employee, boss, wife, mother and volunteer. But back in Shakespeare's day, a woman led a very different existence. Sara H. Medelsohn and Patricia Crawford examine the roles women were expected to play -- and that most were forced to play -- in Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720. Thorough and insightful in its analysis, the book covers a cross-section of gender roles in the poor and elite classes.

Editorial Reviews

`The book covers all aspects of women's lives, and women of all levels of wealth and status from monarchs down to vagrants, allowing the reader to develop a real sense of what being a woman in seventeenth-century England might have been like. Another strength is the amount of new research thetwo authors have incorporated in the book: this is not simply a distillation of existing research but a study from original sources. This is an important book which is sure to become influential in our understanding of women's history.. it contains much that is subtle, interesting, and innovative;it moves our understanding of women's lives forwards, providing a position from which to start new debates. This book should become the core text for all courses in early modern England and required reading for any student covering early modern England more generally.'Jane Whittle, University of Exeter.