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Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720 - Sara Mendelson

Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720

Paperback Published: 1st December 1999
ISBN: 9780198208129
Number Of Pages: 504

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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 varying expectations 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 the religious 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 population usually hidden from the historical record - provide a valuable new perspective on the history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-centu

Industry Reviews

`an excellent book and highly recommended.' Parergon 18.2 `Mendelson and Crawford have assembled a formidable array of materials which shed light on the hitherto somewhat obscure subject of Early Modern Women.' Parergon 18.2 `Mendelson and Crawford ... set new standards and reorient early modern women's history toward new goals. Mendelson and Crawford's methodology gives the book a credence almost unassailable.' Robert L Woods Jr, Jnl of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 00. `Almost every page suggests heretofore overlooked relationships and unstudied connections.' Robert L Woods Jr, Jnl of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 00. `This splendid book, well written with sparkling prose, shows how a methodology rigorously applied can destroy old presumptions - in this case, the professed lack of historical sources about early modern women's lives ... Mendelson and Crawford have achieved their ambitious aim and taught us much about the historian's craft.' Robert L Woods Jr, Jnl of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 00. `"Comprehensive and Scholarly Treatment of Topic. Well Illustrated. Good bibiolography facilitating further reading and research".' Dr R G Kendall, Senior Lecturer, College of Ripon & York St John Fifteen years in the making and a fully collaborative venture of the co-authors, Women in Early Modern England is a splendid new survey of the lives of early modern English women./Mary S. Hartman/Journal of Social History Spring 2000. This book is a brilliant slash across the dark curtain of the past, jammed with stories and images of unimagined lives. It is a great achievement to make history this vivid. With interest for the specialist, its wider appeal will be for the general reader who would simply like to know because now they can./Helen Elliott/The Australian's Review of Books August 1999 p.25. `It is the extraordinary achievement of Crawford and Mendelson to have demolished the arguments about lack of sources for the lives of early modern Englishwomen once and for all ... Mendelson and Crawford have set out to write a history of "women's experience". This vivid, highly readable book, the product of the two authors' research energies over the past twenty or so years, gives just that ... A major scholarly achievement, it provides a detailed account of the lives of English women which has the depth of local study, and which goes far beyond interpretation of gender ideology as it is found in advice books or prescriptive sources ... it is a tribute to this ground-breaking book that it contrives always to open up new questions for research while providing the most authoritative account we are likely to have of the lives of women in early modern England.' Lyndal Roper, Times Literary Supplement `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 the two 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. `Overall, the volume gives a rich, full and stimulating anaylysis of many aspects of women's lives during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.' James Daybell, Jrnl of Early Modern History.

Preface, acknowledgements, abbreviations, glossary, list of illustrations Introduction 1: 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. Conclusion Epilogue Select bibliography

ISBN: 9780198208129
ISBN-10: 019820812X
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 504
Published: 1st December 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.22 x 15.7  x 2.77
Weight (kg): 0.38