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Women and work in eighteenth-century Edinburgh /
Elizabeth C. Sanderson.
Houndmills, Basingstoke : Macmillan ; New York : St. Martin's Press, 1996.
xi, 236 p. : ill.
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Houndmills, Basingstoke : Macmillan ; New York : St. Martin's Press, 1996.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-12-01:
In her interesting and valuable study Sanderson examines the varied kinds of work in which women engaged, and reconstructs the experience of work in 18th-century Edinburgh and its effect on women's lives. Using a broad range of Scottish primary sources, including family papers, bills for clothing, court records, burgh records, and the Merchant Company Minutes, the author challenges several accepted conclusions about women's work in the early modern period. She convincingly shows that women were not restricted to the private sphere: women of both the laboring and the middle classes expected to work when they were single, and many continued working after marriage. Men were not defined as the family's exclusive breadwinners; women's wages were an important contribution to the family's subsistence. Sanderson describes women's work as shopkeepers, roomsetters, sick nurses, wet nurses, midwives, and graveclothes-makers. Whether they worked in a separate occupation from their husbands or in the family business, women perceived their work as a profession rather than an extension of their domestic duties. Sanderson emphasizes, however, that women were paid so much more poorly than men that single women and their children were especially vulnerable to impoverishment. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. Rabin Millersville University of Pennsylvania
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1996
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Introductionp. 1
The Retail Tradep. 5
Roomsetters, Nurses and Graveclothes-Makers: Community Care in Eighteenth-Century Edinburghp. 41
Single Women and Independencep. 74
Married Women and Subsistencep. 108
Women and Povertyp. 136
Conclusionp. 168
Appendix 1: Women Shopkeepers in the Minute Books of the Merchant Company of Edinburghp. 173
Appendix 2: Single Women in Businessp. 184
Appendix 3: The Textile and Grocery Trades - Apprentices, Journeywomen, Assistants, Shopkeepers and Servantsp. 195
Appendix 4: Married Women and Work - Wives and Widowsp. 203
Glossaryp. 212
Notes and Referencesp. 215
Bibliographyp. 228
Indexp. 233
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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