Chain her by one foot : the subjugation of women in seventeenth-century New France /
Karen Anderson.
London ; New York : Routledge, c1991.
247 p., [4] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
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London ; New York : Routledge, c1991.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 236-241) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-07:
Huron and Montagnais social life in the 17th century was organized strictly along kinship lines, and between the sexes there was a great degree of autonomy and equality. The Jesuit missionaries, on the other hand, products of the French-European ethos of the time, supported male domination and subjugation of women. The Jesuit program called for the Indians to give up their belief in dreams, to stop eating human flesh, to stop attending their feasts and ceremonies, to give up their rituals. In so doing, Indians who converted to Christianity became increasingly isolated from others in the society. The kinship system started to break down. In 1634 an epidemic disease decimated New France; other epidemics followed in 1636, 1637, and 1639. Then the Iroquois struck. The Jesuits (Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemont) were tortured and Biebeuf's heart was eaten. The Huron fled. Anderson points out that the European diseases, the famines, and the Iroquois wars destroyed the Huron kinship system and made it easier for the Jesuits to impose their will upon the Huron. The women, for example, "became gentle as little lambs." The book is a fine, readable, and scholarly treatment of the subjugation of women in New France. It is obviously based on the early 19th century work, The Jesuit Relations. For background on the Huron consult Bruce Trigger's Natives and Newcomers (CH, May'86). -D. Jacobson, Michigan State University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1991
Reference & Research Book News, October 1991
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