Catalogue


Women's agency in early modern Britain and the American colonies : patriarchy, partnership and patronage /
Rosemary O'Day.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Harlow, England ; New York : Pearson Longman, 2007
description
viii, 494 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0582294630, 9780582294639
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Harlow, England ; New York : Pearson Longman, 2007
isbn
0582294630
9780582294639
contents note
General introduction -- How and where were marriages solemnised? -- What was marriage? What was its purpose? -- Finding a partner among the landed aristocracy -- Making marriages among women of the professional and the middling sorts -- Attitudes to marriage -- Patriarchy -- Partnership and separation -- Mistress of the household : what wives did all day -- Mothers -- Wives and property -- Widows and widowhood -- Women's formal and informal education -- Women and religion -- Contemporary culture : print and non-print, public and private -- Women's cultural lives : participation.
catalogue key
6411206
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [429]-475) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Rosemary O'Day is Professor of History at the Open University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-07-01:
This richly documented study focuses on the lives of women in early modern England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the 13 American Colonies, convincingly demonstrating that on both sides of the Atlantic, contrary to popular myth, strong, capable women were more the norm than an anomaly. While marriage played an important role in women's experiences in the period and "women's lives were dominated by the prospect of, or actuality of, marriage (even when they elected to, or were destined to, remain single), there was no sharp division in their lives when they passed from the single to the married state." O'Day (Open Univ.) deftly uses printed and manuscript sources to demonstrate that women exercised a great deal of agency in the social, cultural, and religious worlds they inhabited. Reliance on detailed case studies enables O'Day to circumvent what might otherwise be expected in a history that covers over two centuries and spans two continents--broad generalizations and statistical summaries. Expressly written with undergraduates and university instructors in mind, the text offers a cogent overview of contemporary scholarship on early modern women and, as was designed, acts as something of a companion to women's history of the period. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. S. L. Hoglund SUNY at Stony Brook
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
This engaging, exciting book looks at the world of the strong, enterprising, forceful and occasionally manipulative women in early modern Britain and America. Contests the accepted view that these were male-dominated patriarchal societies, in which women played a subordinate and generally private role.Challenges these orthodoxies and shows that were important agents in the social, economic, religious and cultural life of their societies.No other book looks in such depth not only at the role of women within marriage but also at their cultural roles.No other book draws on such a wide range of both primary and secondary sources.
Back Cover Copy
'This is a remarkable achievement, involving [...] a prodigious amount of research in a vast range of printed and unprinted sources, and covering four distinct, if related, worlds: England, Scotland, Ireland and North America....[O'Day's] is surely the fullest and most comprehensive demonstration of what we might mean by agency that has yet seen the light of day.' Patrick Collinson, Emeritus Regius Professor of History, University of Cambridge From culture to childbirth, money to marriage and wooing to widowhood, Rosemary O'Day introduces us to the lives of women in early modern Britain and the North American colonies. Dispelling the myth that women during this period were weak characters dominated by husbands and fathers, O'Day reveals these women to be important agents in the social, economic, religious and cultural lives of their societies who exercised considerable influence on the world around them. Strong women, she argues, were not the exception but the norm at this time and in many, even most, cases their menfolk valued and colluded in their strength. These women did not exist in a vacuum. In examining the differing lives of married women in the old and new worlds O'Day challenges the assumption that women of the North American colonies had more agency than those in Britain. She demonstrates that gender is indeed a social construct and that different societies will construct it differently. However, far from leading us into the realms of abstract speculation, O'Day focuses on the real lives of real women, exploring how far their experience was determined by their family roles and to what extent they existed as individuals, expanding their own horizons and those of future women. Rosemary O'Day is Professor of History at the Open University. She has written and published extensively on the religious and social history of early modern Britain and America. Her earlier publications include: The Debate on the English Reformation (1986), The Family and Family Relationships (1994), and The Professions in Early Modern England (2000).
Main Description
This engaging, exciting book looks at the world of the strong, enterprising, forceful and occasionally manipulative women in early modern Britain and America. Contests the accepted view that these were male-dominated patriarchal societies, in which women played a subordinate and generally private role. Challenges these orthodoxies and shows that were important agents in the social, economic, religious and cultural life of their societies. No other book looks in such depth not only at the role of women within marriage but also at their cultural roles. No other book draws on such a wide range of both primary and secondary sources.
Long Description
Women in early modern Britain and colonial America were not the weak husband- and father-dominated characters of popular myth. Quite the reverse, strong women were the norm. They exercised considerable influence as important agents in the social, economic, religious and cultural life of their societies. This book shows how women on both sides of the Atlantic, while accepting a patriarchal system with all its advantages and disadvantages, contrived to carve out for themselves meaningful lives. Unusually it concentrates not only on the making and meaning of marriage, but also upon the partnership between men and women. It also looks at the varied roles - cultural, religious and educational - that women played both inside and outside marriage during the key period 1500-1760. Women emerge as partners, patrons, matchmakers, investors and network builders.
Back Cover Copy
'This is a remarkable achievement, involving [...] a prodigious amount of research in a vast range of printed and unprinted sources, and covering four distinct, if related, worlds: England, Scotland, Ireland and North America....[O'Day's] is surely the fullest and most comprehensive demonstration of what we might mean by agency that has yet seen the light of day.' "Patrick Collinson, Emeritus Regius Professor of History, University of Cambridge" From culture to childbirth, money to marriage and wooing to widowhood, Rosemary O'Day introduces us to the lives of women in early modern Britain and the North American colonies. Dispelling the myth that women during this period were weak characters dominated by husbands and fathers, O'Day reveals these women to be important agents in the social, economic, religious and cultural lives of their societies who exercised considerable influence on the world around them. Strong women, she argues, were not the exception but the norm at this time and in many, even most, cases their menfolk valued and colluded in their strength. These women did not exist in a vacuum. In examining the differing lives of married women in the old and new worlds O'Day challenges the assumption that women of the North American colonies had more agency than those in Britain. She demonstrates that gender is indeed a social construct and that different societies will construct it differently. However, far from leading us into the realms of abstract speculation, O'Day focuses on the real lives of real women, exploring how far their experience was determined by their family roles and to what extent they existed as individuals, expanding their own horizonsand those of future women. Rosemary O'Day is Professor of History at the Open University. She has written and published extensively on the religious and social history of early modern Britain and America. Her earlier publications include: "The Debate on the English Reformation" (1986), "The Family and Family Relationships" (1994), and "The Professions in Early Modern England" (2000).
Back Cover Copy
'This is a remarkable achievement, involving [...] a prodigious amount of research in a vast range of printed and unprinted sources, and covering four distinct, if related, worlds: England, Scotland, Ireland and North America....[O'Day's] is surely the fullest and most comprehensive demonstration of what we might mean by agency that has yet seen the light of day.' Patrick Collinson, Emeritus Regius Professor of History, University of Cambridge   From culture to childbirth, money to marriage and wooing to widowhood, Rosemary O'Day introduces us to the lives of women in early modern Britain and the North American colonies.   Dispelling the myth that women during this period were weak characters dominated by husbands and fathers, O'Day reveals these women to be important agents in the social, economic, religious and cultural lives of their societies who exercised considerable influence on the world around them. Strong women, she argues, were not the exception but the norm at this time and in many, even most, cases their menfolk valued and colluded in their strength.   These women did not exist in a vacuum. In examining the differing lives of married women in the old and new worlds O'Day challenges the assumption that women of the North American colonies had more agency than those in Britain. She demonstrates that gender is indeed a social construct and that different societies will construct it differently. However, far from leading us into the realms of abstract speculation, O'Day focuses on the real lives of real women, exploring how far their experience was determined by their family roles and to what extent they existed as individuals, expanding their own horizons and those of future women.   Rosemary O'Day is Professor of History at the Open University. She has written and published extensively on the religious and social history of early modern Britain and America. Her earlier publications include: The Debate on the English Reformation (1986), The Family and Family Relationships (1994), and  The Professions in Early Modern England (2000).    
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Abbreviationp. x
General introductionp. 1
Marrying: an active proposition
Introductionp. 27
How and where were marriages solemnised?p. 28
What was marriage? What was its purpose?p. 41
Finding a partner among the landed aristocracyp. 67
Making marriages among women of the professional and the middling sortsp. 111
Experience of marriage
Introductionp. 141
Attitudes to marriagep. 146
Patriarchyp. 152
Partnership and separationp. 185
Mistress of the household: what wives did all dayp. 205
Mothersp. 240
Wives and propertyp. 258
Widows and widowhoodp. 280
Culture and religion: women's preparation for and participation in contemporary culture
Introductionp. 319
Women's formal and informal educationp. 320
Women and religionp. 338
Contemporary culture: print and non-print, public and privatep. 372
Women's cultural lives: participationp. 397
Bibliographyp. 429
Glossaryp. 476
Subject indexp. 481
Index of proper namesp. 485
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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