In this fascinating and unique study, Ann Hughes examines how the experience of civil war in seventeenth-century England affected the roles of women and men in politics and society; and how conventional concepts of masculinity and femininity were called into question by the war and the trial and execution of an anointed King. Ann Hughes combines discussion of the activities of women in the religious and political upheavals of the revolution, with a pioneering analysis of how male political identities were fractured by civil war. Traditional parallels and analogies between marriage, the family and the state were shaken, and rival understandings of sexuality, manliness, effeminacy and womanliness were deployed in political debate.
In a historiography dominated by military or political approaches, Gender and the English Revolution reveals the importance of gender in understanding the events in England during the 1640s and 1650s. It will be an essential resource for anyone interested in women’s history, feminism, gender or British History.
Table of Contents
Contents. Acknowledgements. Part 1: Introduction: Gender, Power and Politics in Early Modern England Part 2. Women and War Part3: Manhood and Civil War Part 4: Bodies, Families, Sex: using gender, imagining politics. Conclusion. Index
Ann Hughes is Professor of Early Modern History at Keele University; she has published widely on mid-seventeenth century English history and is particularly interested in gender, print culture and religion. Her publications include Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution, (2004) and The Causes of the English Civil War (1998).
'Hughes has produced an excellent, compelling work that not only spotlights the gendered political world of the English revolution but also makes a clear and convincing argument for the examination of gender and gender roles to better understand the political turmoil of the mid-seventeenth century.'
– Michelle White, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, H-Net
"...Ann Hughes, in this slim but impressive book, makes an important and original contribution to civil wars history through her gender analysis of women and men's experiences from all levels of society." -
"...Hughes' text is essential reading in order to fully understand and combat traditional accounts that leave women and gender out." - Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 58, Issue 3
"New books by Ann Hughes are always eagerly anticipated events... [She] is as persuasive and clever in this book as she always is. Gender and the English Revolution makes an important contribution to the study of gender and agency in the early modern period and will be a fixture on undergraduate reading lists for many years to come." - Marcus Nevitt, Renaissance Quarterly