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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 This book offers: Previously unpublished documents by women and men from all levels of society, ranging from private letters to court cases A critical examination of a new field, reflecting original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.
Womens Worlds in England presents a unique collection of source materials on womens lives in sixteenth and seventeenth century England. The book introduces a wonderfully diverse group of women and a series of voices that have rarely been heard in history, Drawing on unpublished, archival materials, the book explores women's: * experiences of work, sex, marriage and motherhood * beliefs and spirituality * political activities * relationships * mental worlds. In a time when few women could write, this book reveals the multitude of ways in which their voices have left traces in the written record, and deepens our understanding of womens lives in the past.
This concise introduction provides an overview of the state of research on women's history in the early modern period. It emcompasses a guide to the historiography, an assessment of the major debates, and information about the varied sources available for women's history in this period. Arranged around familiar themes - the family, work, religion, education - the book presents a comprehensive survey of the social, economic and political position of women in England in the 16th and 17th centuries.
With the renewed interest in the history of witches and witchcraft, this timely book provides an introduction to this fascinating topic, informed by the main trends of new thinking on the subject. Beginning with a discussion of witchcraft in the early modern period, and charting the witch panics that took place at this time, the author goes on to look at the historical debate surrounding the causes of the legal persecution of witches. Contemporary views of witchcraft put forward by judges, theological writers and the medical profession are examined, as is the place of witchcraft in the popular imagination. Jim Sharpe also looks at the gender dimensions of the witch persecution, and the treatment of witchcraft in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. Supported by a range of compelling documents, the book concludes with an exploration of why witch panics declined in the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century.
The first examination of women's experiences and gender relations in the diverse, mobile society of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century London.
From childbirth and baptism through to courtship, weddings, and funerals, every stage in the life-cycle of Tudor and Stuart England was accompanied by ritual. Even under the protestantism of the reformed Church, the spiritual and social dramas of birth, marriage, and death were graced with elaborate ceremony. Powerful and controversial protocols were in operation, shaped and altered by the influences of the Reformation, the Revolution, and the Restoration. Each of the major rituals was potentially an arena for argument, ambiguity, and dissent. Ideally, as classic rites of passage, these ceremonies worked to bring people together. But they also set up traps into which people could stumble, and tests which not everybody could pass. In practice, ritual performance revealed frictions and fractures that everyday local discourse attempted to hide or to heal. Using fascinating first-hand evidence, David Cressy shows how the making and remaking of ritual formed part of a continuing debate, sometimes strained and occasionally acrimonious, which exposed the raw nerves of society in the midst of great historical events. In doing so, he vividly brings to life the common experiences of living and dying in Tudor and Stuart England.

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