The Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe is a comprehensive and ground-breaking survey of the lives of women in early-modern Europe between 1450 and 1750. Covering a period of dramatic political and cultural change, the book challenges the current contours and chronologies of European history by observing them through the lens of female experience. The collaborative research of this book covers four themes: the affective world; practical knowledge for life; politics and religion; arts, science and humanities. These themes are interwoven through the chapters, which encompass all areas of women’s lives: sexuality, emotions, health and wellbeing, educational attainment, litigation and the practical and leisured application of knowledge, skills and artistry from medicine to theology. The intellectual lives of women, through reading and writing, and their spirituality and engagement with the material world, are also explored. So too is the sheer energy of female work, including farming and manufacture, skilled craft and artwork, theatrical work and scientific enquiry.
The Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe revises the chronological and ideological parameters of early-modern European history by opening the reader’s eyes to an exciting age of female productivity, social engagement and political activism across European and transatlantic boundaries. It is essential reading for students and researchers of early-modern history, the history of women and gender studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part 1: The affective world – body, kinship and emotions; Chapter 1 – bodies, sex and sexuality; Chapter 2 – family, kin and friendship; Chapter 3 – love and other emotions; Chapter 4 – affective responses to illness and death. Part 2: Practical literacies – education, law and labour; Chapter 5 – education: learning, literacy and domestic virtues; Chapter 6 – work in countryside, cities and towns; Chapter 7 – medical knowledge and practice; Chapter 8: law, property and litigation; Part 3: Power – politics and religion; Chapter 9 – queens and courtiers: authority, networks and patronage; Chapter 10 – the intellectual world of catholic piety; Chapter 11 – protestant theology, spirituality and evangelicalism; Chapter 12 – women’s political writing: civil war memoirs; Part 4: Intellect & materiality – humanities, arts and science; Chapter 13 – materializing women: dynamic interactions of gender and materiality; Chapter 14 – the visual arts; Chapter 15 – theatre and performance; Chapter 16 – science and natural philosophy; Chapter 17 – literature and letters
Amanda L. Capern is Senior Lecturer at the University of Hull. Her publications include The Historical Study of Women: England, 1500–1700 (2010) and as editor Women and the Land, 1500–1900 (2019), as well as essays and articles on the social, economic, legal, intellectual and spiritual lives of early-modern British and European women.