This text brings together eleven important pieces by Merry Wiesner, several of them previously unpublished, on three major areas in the study of women and gender in early modern Germany: religion, law and work. The final chapter, specially written for this volume addresses three fundamental questions: "Did women have a Reformation?"; "What effects did the development of capitalism have on women?"; and "Do the concepts 'Renaissance' and 'Early Modern' apply to women's experience?" The book concludes with an extensive bibliographical essay exploring both English and German scholarship.
General Introduction. 1. Women's Defence of Their Public Role. 2. From Spiritual Virginity to Family as Calling. 3. Ideology Meets the Empire: Reformed Convents and the Reformation. 4. The Reformation of the Women. 5. Frail, Weak, and Helpless: Women's Legal Position in Theory and Reality. 6. Paternalism in Practice: The Control of Servants and Prostitutes in Early Modern German Cities. 7. War, Work, and Wealth: The Bases of Citizenship in Early Modern German Cities. 8. Spinning Out Capital: Women's Work in the Early Modern Economy. 9. Guilds, Male Bonding and Women's Work in Early Modern Germany. 10. Wandervogels and Women: Journeymen's Concepts of Masculinity in Early Modern Germany. 11. Concluding Essay: Reassessing, Transforming, Complicating: Two Decades of Early Modern Women's History.