1st Edition

Between Poverty and the Pyre Moments in the History of Widowhood

Edited By Jan Bremmer, Lourens Van Den Bosch Copyright 1995
    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    Between Poverty and the Pyre examines the history of the experience of widowhood across different cultures. It brings together a collection of essays by historians, anthropologists and philologists. The book shows how difficult it is to define the 'typical' widow, as the experiences of these women have differed so widely, not simply because of their different time periods and locations, but also becuase of their varying legal and religious status and economic conditions.
    The study is diverse with subjects ranging from:
    *Hindu wives who followed their husbands to the pyre
    *widows who were burned as witches
    *and widows who had to become prostitutes to stay alive.
    The book also explores Jesus's interest in widows and the experience of some well-known widows, such as Mohammed's first wife.

    Preface 1 WIDOWS’ WORLDS Representations and realities 2 THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF THE WIDOW IN ANCIENT ISRAEL 3 PAUPER OR PATRONESS The widow in the Early Christian Church 4 WIDOWS IN ANGLO-SAXON ENGLAND 5 WIDOWS AND THE LAW The legal position of widows in the Dutch Republic during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 6 ‘EUROPEAN’ WIDOWS IN THE DUTCH EAST INDIES Their legal and social position 7 WOMEN WITHOUT MEN Widows and spinsters in Britain and France in the eighteenth century 8 NOBLE WIDOWS BETWEEN FORTUNE AND FAMILY 9 THE ULTIMATE JOURNEY Sati and widowhood in India 10 WIDOWS IN ISLAM 11 WIDOWS HIDDEN FROM VIEW The disappearance of mourning dress among Dutch widows in the twentieth century 12 WIDOWS IN WESTERN HISTORY A select bibliography


    Lourens P. van den Bosch is Associate Professor of History of Religion at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. He is the author of Atharvaveda-parisista: Chapters 21–29, Introduction, Translation and Notes (1978) and Inleiding in het hindoeïsme (1990). Jan N.Bremmer is Professor of History of Religion at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. He is the author of The Early Greek Concept of the Soul (1983) and Greek Religion (1994), co-author of Roman Myth and Mythography (1987), editor of Interpretations of Greek Mythology (1987), From Sappho to de Sade: Moments in the History of Sexuality (1989) and A Dictionary of Ancient Religions (1995), and co-editor of A Cultural History of Gesture (1991).