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Daughters, Wives and Widows after the Black Death : Women in Sussex, 1350-1535 - Mavis E. Mate

Daughters, Wives and Widows after the Black Death

Women in Sussex, 1350-1535

Hardcover Published: 3rd May 1998
ISBN: 9780851155340
Number Of Pages: 235

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It has long been thought that the post Black Death period offered unparallelled opportunities for women. However, through a careful consideration of economic and legal changes affecting women of all social classes and conditions, the author shows that this was not the case, taking issue with orthodox opinion. She argues that marriage at a late age was not customary for women, and that the ability of wives to supplement their income with intermittent paid labour (at harvest time, for example) was not so great as has been supposed: rather, most married women spent more time on unpaid agricultural labour on their own land than their peers had done in the pre-plague economy. Professor Mate also demonstrates that there is little evidence to support the current belief that widowhood was the period in a woman's life when she enjoyed most power, freedom, and independence; moreover, legal changes were a mixed blessing for women, leaving some widows with a larger portion and a more secure title to land, but totally depriving others. Throughout, the book pays much attention to class as well as gender, showing how many things were determined by it, from what a woman wore or ate to the age at which she married, her power within the household, and even her vulnerability to rape.Professor MAVIS E. MATEteaches in the Department of History at the University of Oregon.

A well-documented description that provides...rich detail about the lives of women, some of it rigorously enough selected and analyzed to provide useful correctives to existing scholarship. In addition, the book is laced with intelligent commentary both about the evidence and the weight that it can bear, as well as about the ways a woman's social position would have affected her experience of any of the economic or demographic events discussed. AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW

List of Tables
Genealogies: The Lewkenore, Pelham, Etchingham and Oxenbridge Families
Introductionp. 1
Fluctuations in the post-Black Death Economyp. 11
Marriage and the Economyp. 21
Married Women and Work among Labouring and Craft Familiesp. 50
Women under the Lawp. 76
Widowhoodp. 94
Standards of Livingp. 135
Social Horizons: Power versus Authorityp. 154
Class and Gender in Late Medieval Societyp. 179
Conclusionsp. 193
Bibliographyp. 201
Indexp. 215
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780851155340
ISBN-10: 0851155340
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 235
Published: 3rd May 1998
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.57