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This concise and accessible book explores the history of gender in England between 1500 and 1700. Amidst the political and religious disruptions of the Reformation and the Civil War, sexual difference and gender were matters of public debate and private contention. Laura Gowing provides unique insight into gender relations in a time of flux, through sources ranging from the women who tried to vote in Ipswich in 1640, to the dreams of Archbishop Laud and a grandmother describing the first time her grandson wore breeches. Examining gender relations in the contexts of the body, the house, the neighbourhood and the political world, this comprehensive study analyses the tides of change and the power of custom in a pre-modern world. This book offers: Previously unpublished documents by women and men from all levels of society, ranging from private letters to court cases A critical examination of a new field, reflecting original research and the most recent scholarship In-depth analysis of historical evidence, allowing the reader to reconstruct the hidden histories of women Also including a chronology, who’s who of key figures, guide to further reading and a full-colour plate section, Gender Relations in Early Modern England is ideal for students and interested readers at all levels, providing a diverse range of primary sources and the tools to unlock them.