This book offers a comparative perspective on Northern and Southern European laws and customs concerning women’s property and economic rights. By focusing on both Northern and Southern European societies, these studies analyse the consequences of different juridical frameworks and norms on the development of the economic roles of men and women.
This volume is divided into three parts. The first, Laws, presents general outlines related to some European regions; the second, Family strategies or marital economies?, questions the potential conflict between the economic interests of the married couple and those of the lineage within the nobility; finally, the third part of the book, Inside the urban economy, focuses on economic and work activities of middle and lower classes in the urban environment. The assorted and rich panorama offered by the history of the legislation on women’s economic rights shows that similarities and differences run through Europe in such a way that the North/South model looks very stereotyped. While this approach calls into question classical geographical and cultural maps and well-established chronologies, it encourages a reconsideration of European history according to a cross-boundaries perspective.
By drawing on a wide range of social, economic and cultural European contexts, from the late medieval to early modern age to the nineteenth century, and including the middle and lower classes (especially artisans, merchants and traders) as well as the economic practices and norms of the upper middle class and aristocracy, this book will be of interest to economic and social historians, sociologists of health, gender and sexuality, and economists.
List of figures
List of tables
List of editors and contributors
Introduction: North versus South – gender, law and economic well-being in Europe in the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries
ANNA BELLAVITIS AND BEATRICE ZUCCA MICHELETTO
1 Community of goods, coverture and capability in Britain: Scotland versus England
2 Between parental power and marital authority: How merchant women stood the test of customary laws in Brittany in the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries
3 Exceptional women: Female merchants and working women in Italy in the early modern period
4 Married women’s property rights in the nineteenth century in France and Spain: A North–South case study
5 From legal diversity to centralization: Marriage and wealth in nineteenth-century Greece
Family strategies or marital economies?
6 Marriage, law and property: Married noblewomen’s role in property management in fifteenth-century Norway
SUSANN ANETT PEDERSEN
7 Class privileges and the public good: The monti dei maritaggi in early modern Naples
8 Women of high- and medium-ranking officers in the Île-de-France between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: What economic agency?
9 Undivided brothers – renouncing sisters: Family strategies of low nobility in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Tyrol
Inside the urban economy
10 The ‘egalitarian trend’ in practice: Female participation in capital markets in late medieval Leuven
11 Women and credit in eighteenth-century Venice: A preliminary analysis
12 Married women, property and paraphernalia in early modern Scotland
13 Women at work in a Southern European town: Women, guilds and commercial partnerships in Venice in the sixteenth century
14 Law, wives and the marital economy in sixteenth-century Antwerp: Bridging the gap between theory and practice
15 Women, law and business formation in early modern Paris
JANINE M. LANZA
16 Bankruptcies, a gateway to gender history: The example of women book traders in Paris in the nineteenth century