Catalogue


English aristocratic women, 1450-1550 [electronic resource] : marriage and family, property and careers /
Barbara J. Harris.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
description
xiv, 346 p. : ill.
ISBN
0195056205 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
isbn
0195056205 (Cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 16, 2007).
catalogue key
7372159
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-05-01:
This important study paints both an unusually broad and an unusually specific portrait of the opportunities for power and the liabilities to subordination specific to elite women in 15th- and 16th-century England. Having compiled a remarkably extensive database on the lives of 1,200 aristocratic married couples and their children, Harris (Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) uses both statistical generalizations and detailed examples to depict a group of women uniquely situated by the property laws and marriage practices of their rank to exercise authority and to be subjected to particularly onerous limitations. Furthermore, Harris locates these women in a unique historical moment, arguing that royal consolidation in this period increased room for high-ranking women to maneuver within traditional patriarchal society. The book's initial structure follows the female life cycle (including a chapter on women who diverged from the typical path by not marrying), and then ends with chapters on social networks and on women at court. In its extraordinary archival grounding as well as its lucid exposition of the characteristics of this intersection of rank and gender, this book is indispensable reading for social historians of all stripes. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Graduate students and faculty. A. Kugler John Carroll University
Reviews
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This ambitious study is splendidly documented, original and successful.
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This work combines a collective portrait of aristocratic women with an analysis of the particular, class-specific form of patriarchy and gender relations that flourished among the upper classes in Yorkist and early Tudor England.
Long Description
English Aristocratic Women combines a collective portrait of aristocratic women with an analysis of the particular, class-specific form of patriarchy and gender relations that flourished among the upper classes in Yorkist and early Tudor England. The first book on the subject based on extensive archival research, it examines the apparent contradiction between the patriarchal institutions that shaped women's lives and the wide range of their activities, control ofresources, and power over themselves and members of their families. It demonstrates that the roles of aristocratic wives, mothers, and wideows constituted careers for women that had as much public and political significance and were as crucial for the survival and prosperity of their families and class as the careersof their husbands. They managed their families' property and households; arranged the marriages and careers of their children; created, sustained, and exploited the client-patron relationships that were an essential element in politics at the regional and national levels and in the power of individual families; and, finally, managed the transmission and distribution of property from one generation to another, since most wives outlive their husbands. For women from the inner circle of courtfamilies, careers at court expanded and supported these roles. As in all careers, aristocratic women gained prestige, authority, power, and financial rewards for their activities. Recognising the full significance of aristocratic women's careers revises our understanding of Yorkist and early Tudorpolitics. In addition, the centrality of their roles means that reconstructing their activities creates a vivid picture of every aspect of aristocratic domestic, familial, economic, and political life.
Long Description
Portraits of aristocratic women from the Yorkist and Tudor periods reveal elaborately clothed and bejeweled nobility, exemplars of their families' wealth. Unlike their male counterparts, their sitters have not been judged for their professional accomplishments. In this groundbreaking study, Barbara J. Harris argues that the roles of aristocratic wives, mothers, and widows constituted careers for women that had as much public and political significance and were as crucial for thesurvival and prosperity of their families and class as their husband's careers. Women, Harris demonstrates, were trained from an early age to manage their families' property and households; arrange the marriages and careers of their children; create, sustain, and exploit the client-patron relationshipsthat were an essential element in politics at the regional and national levels; and, finally, manage the transmission and distribution of property from one generation to another, since most wives outlived their husbands. English Aristocratic Women unveils the lives of noblewomen whose historical influence has previously been dismissed, as well as those who became favourites at the court of Henry VIII. Through extensive archival research of documents belonging to more than twelve hundred families, Harris paints a collective portrait of upper-class women of this period. By recognising the full significance of the aristocratic women's careers, this book reinterprets the politics and gender relations ofearly modern England. Barbara J. Harris is Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her previous works include Edward Stafford, Third Duke of Buckingham, 1478-1521.
Main Description
Portraits of aristocratic women from the Yorkist and Tudor periods reveal elaborately clothed and bejeweled nobility, exemplars of their families' wealth. Unlike their male counterparts, their sitters have not been judged for their professional accomplishments. In this groundbreaking study,Barbara J. Harris argues that the roles of aristocratic wives, mothers, and widows constituted careers for women that had as much public and political significance and were as crucial for the survival and prosperity of their families and class as their husband's careers. Women, Harris demonstrates,were trained from an early age to manage their families' property and households; arrange the marriages and careers of their children; create, sustain, and exploit the client-patron relationships that were an essential element in politics at the regional and national levels; and, finally, manage thetransmission and distribution of property from one generation to another, since most wives outlived their husbands. English Aristocratic Women unveils the lives of noblewomen whose historical influence has previously been dismissed, as well as those who became favorites at the court of Henry VIII. Through extensive archival research of documents belonging to more than twelve hundred families, Harris paints acollective portrait of upper-class women of this period. By recognizing the full significance of the aristocratic women's careers, this book reinterprets the politics and gender relations of early modern England. Barbara J. Harris is Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University ofNorth Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her previous works include Edward Stafford, Third Duke of Buckingham, 1478-1521.
Main Description
Portraits of aristocratic women from the Yorkist and Tudor periods reveal elaborately clothed and bejeweled nobility, exemplars of their families' wealth. Unlike their male counterparts, their sitters have not been judged for their professional accomplishments. In this groundbreaking study, Barbara J. Harris argues that the roles of aristocratic wives, mothers, and widows constituted careers for women that had as much public and political significance and were as crucial for the survival and prosperity of their families and class as their husband's careers. Women, Harris demonstrates, were trained from an early age to manage their families' property and households; arrange the marriages and careers of their children; create, sustain, and exploit the client-patron relationships that were an essential element in politics at the regional and national levels; and, finally, manage the transmission and distribution of property from one generation to another, since most wives outlived their husbands. English Aristocratic Women unveils the lives of noblewomen whose historical influence has previously been dismissed, as well as those who became favorites at the court of Henry VIII. Through extensive archival research of documents belonging to more than twelve hundred families, Harris paints a collective portrait of upper-class women of this period. By recognizing the full significance of the aristocratic women's careers, this book reinterprets the politics and gender relations of early modern England. Barbara J. Harris is Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her previous works include Edward Stafford, Third Duke of Buckingham, 1478-1521 .
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Structures of Patriarchyp. 17
Daughters: Wives in the Makingp. 27
The Arrangement of Marriagep. 43
Wives: Partnership and Patriarchyp. 61
Single Women and Compulsory Marriagep. 88
Motherhood: Bearing and Promoting the Next Generationp. 99
Widows: Women of Property and Custodians of Their Families' Futuresp. 127
Beyond the Household: Family and Friends, Patronage and Powerp. 175
Their Brilliant Careers: Aristocratic Women at the Yorkist and Early Tudor Courtp. 210
Conclusionp. 241
Glossaryp. 245
Abbreviationsp. 249
Notesp. 251
Bibliographyp. 309
Indexp. 333
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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