Catalogue


Women in early modern England, 1550-1720 [electronic resource] /
Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Clarendon Press, 1998.
description
xvi, 480 p. : ill. ; 24cm.
ISBN
0198201249
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Clarendon Press, 1998.
isbn
0198201249
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8569415
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [437]-466) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-02:
Mendelson (McMaster Univ.) and Crawford (Univ. of Western Australia) have produced the first truly exhaustive study of women in England between about 1550 and 1725. Using an impressive array of documentary and literary sources, as well as an up-to-date secondary bibliography, the authors have created a readable, engaging, and useful text that will appeal to the educated general reader as much as it will to advanced undergraduates. Arranged by subject, the book begins with an analysis of life stages of women both within and beyond traditional designations of maidens, wives, and widows. It then considers women's economic contributions, their culture, and their participation in the political milieu. Throughout, Mendelson and Crawford stress that understanding women's place in early modern society and culture can be achieved only when women are recognized as having a history that is uniquely their own. Justifiably critical of the lack of attention women's history on the part of early modern historians, the authors are nevertheless far from strident in their presentation. Moreover, they consider their book to be introductory rather than definitive, and welcome other contributions. Should be on every college library's purchase list. Upper-division undergraduates and above. L. E. Mitchell; Alfred University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Almost every page suggests heretofore overlooked relationships and unstudied connections.' Robert L Woods Jr, Jnl of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 00.
'Almost every page suggests heretofore overlooked relationships andunstudied connections.'Robert L Woods Jr, Jnl of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 00.
'an excellent book and highly recommended.'Parergon 18.2
... an important new feminist study of women in early modern England by two of the leading social historians in their field ... offers both a valuable synthesis and a fresh insight into areas until recently little studied. Particularly useful are the sections on single women and the chapter on female culture, which includes fascinating discussion of speech and material culture. The book also provides an important theoretical framework for women's history, one that is genuinely innovative conceptually and methodologically.
Anyone working in the field of early modern women owes historians Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford a profound debt of gratitude for Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720. Fifteen years of painstaking archival research fuel their carefully considered conclusions about women's everyday lives across a variety of classes.
... a rich, full and stimulating analysis of many aspects of women's lives during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ... very clearly structured throughout ... Mendelson and Crawford's book is wide-ranging and sophisticated, and should be widely read. It will serve both as an invaluable teaching companion and, with its immensely detailed bibliography (which is especially good as a guide to manuscripts and unpublished doctoral work), as a useful tool for further research for many years to come.
'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
Impressive ... powerful and substantial ... For scholars and students alike, Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720 is obligatory reading, and for many of us, it deserves a special place on a shelf close at hand.
'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 readablebook, 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 asit 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
'It is the extraordinary achievement of Crawford and Mendelson to havedemolished the arguments about lack of sources for the lives of early modernEnglishwomen once and for all ... Mendelson and Crawford have set out to write ahistory of "women's experience". This vivid, highly readable book, the productof the two authors' research energies over the past twenty or so years, givesjust that ... A major scholarly achievement, it provides a detailed account ofthe lives of English women which has the depth of local study, and which goesfar beyond interpretation of gender ideology as it is found in advice books orprescriptive sources ... it is a tribute to this ground-breaking book that itcontrives always to open up new questions for research while providing the mostauthoritative account we are likely to have of the lives of women in earlymodern England.'Lyndal Roper, Times Literary Supplement
Mendelson and Crawford have assembled a formidable array of materials which shed light on the hitherto somewhat obscure subject of Early Modern Women ... an excellent book and highly recommended.
'Mendelson and Crawford have assembled a formidable array of materialswhich shed light on the hitherto somewhat obscure subject of Early ModernWomen.'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.
'Mendelson and Crawford ... set new standards and reorient early modernwomen's history toward new goals. Mendelson and Crawford's methodology givesthe book a credence almost unassailable.'Robert L Woods Jr, Jnl of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 00.
'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.
The authors deftly bring together archival information with a sweeping awareness of the secondary historical work available to make this the single most exciting and useful book in years available on the subject of early modern English women, and the first book to provide a complex picture of the lives of poor, laboring, and middling class women alongside the lives of the privileged.
'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 thetwo 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, andinnovative; 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.
'The book covers all aspects of women's lives, and women of all levels ofwealth and status from monarchs down to vagrants, allowing the reader to developa real sense of what being a woman in seventeenth-century England might havebeen like. Another strength is the amount of new research the two authors haveincorporated in the book: this is not simply a distillation of existing researchbut a study from original sources. This is an important book which is sure tobecome influential in our understanding of women's history.. it contains muchthat is subtle, interesting, and innovative; it moves our understanding ofwomen'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 Englandand required reading for any student covering early modern England moregenerally.'Jane Whittle, University of Exeter.
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.
'This is a thought-provoking study of the women of early modern England written by two proven experts in this relatively new field of modern inquiry. Mendelson's and Crawford's book is a tribute to the maturing of this field of inquiry that since the 1970's has developed significantly. Theyhave invited their readers to join in a conversation with them about women's history.'Retha M. Warnicke, Albion
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.
'This splendid book, well written with sparkling prose, shows how amethodology rigorously applied can destroy old presumptions - in this case, theprofessed lack of historical sources about early modern women's lives ...Mendelson and Crawford have achieved their ambitious aim and taught us muchabout the historian's craft.'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 usmuch about the historian's craft.' Robert L Woods Jr, Jnl of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 00.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1999
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
What was life like for ordinary women who lived in Tudor and Stuart England? This fascinating book provides a frank account of the daily experiences of these women, using first-hand sources such as letters, diaries, and household accounts.
Long Description
This is an original, accessible, and comprehensive survey of life as it was experienced by most Englishwomen during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The authors examine virtually all aspects of women's lives: female life-stages from birth to death; the separate culture of women, including female friendship and feminist consciousness; the diverse roles of women in the religious and political movements of the day; and the effect of prevailing perceptions of gender differences. Comparisons are made between the makeshift economy of poor women and the occupational identities, and preoccupations, of the middling and elite classes. This fascinating and well-illustrated book reconstructs the mental and material world of Tudor and Stuart women. It will become the standard text on the subject.
Main Description
This is an original, accessible, and comprehensive survey of life as it was experienced by most Englishwomen during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The authors examine virtually all aspects of women's lives: female life-stages from birth to death; the separate culture of women, including female friendship and feminist consciousness; the diverse roles of women in the religious and political movements of the day; and the effect of prevailing perceptions of gender differences. Comparisons are made between the makeshift economy of poor women and the occupational identities, and preoccupations, of the middling and elite classes. This fascinating and well-illustrated book reconstructs the mental and material world of Tudor and Stuart women, and is sure to become the standard text on the subject.
Main Description
This is an original, accessible, and comprehensive survey of life as it was experienced by most Englishwomen during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The authors examine virtually all aspects of women's lives: female life-stages from birth to death; the separate culture of women,including female friendship and feminist consciousness; the diverse roles of women in the religious and political movements of the day; and the effect of prevailing perceptions of gender differences. Comparisons are made between the makeshift economy of poor women and the occupational identities,and preoccupations, of the middling and elite classes. This fascinating and well-illustrated book reconstructs the mental and material world of Tudor and Stuart women. It will become the standard text on the subject.
Unpaid Annotation
WOMEN IN EARLY MODERN ENGLAND is a survey of life as it was experienced by most Englishwomen during the 16th and 17th centuries. This fascinating and well-illustrated book reconstructs the mental and material world of Tudor and Stuart women, and it is sure to become a standard text on the subject. 49 illustrations.
Table of Contents
Preface, acknowledgements, abbreviations, glossary, list of illustrations
Introduction
Contexts:- Medical theories
Religious teachings
The law and its administration
Citizenship
Popular notions
Stereotypes
Misogyny and patriarchy.
Life Stages:- Childhood and Adolescence: Early 7years
Service
Courtship.
Adult Life:- Marriage
Maternity
Single women
Widowhood
Old age
Death.
Female Culture:- Space
Speech
Material culture
The practice of piety
Female friendship
Passionate friends and lesbian relationships
Female consciousness and feminism.
The Makeshift Economy of Poor Women:- Work and gender
Poverty
Making a living
The indigent and destitute.
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.
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
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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