This new collection of essays brings together brand new research on widowhood in medieval and early modern Europe. The volume opens with an introductory chapter by the Editors which looks generally at the conditions and constructions of widowhood in this period. This is followed by a range of essays which illuminate different dimensions of widowhood across Europe - in England, Italy, France, Germany and Spain. A particular attraction of the volume is the attention given to widowers, and the comparisons made between the male and female experience of widowhood. It is an exciting reinterpretation of the subject which will do much to undo the traditional stereotype of the widow.
Contributing to the volume are: Jodi Bilinkoff, Giulia Calvi, Sandra Cavallo, Isabelle Chabot, Julia Crick, Amy Erikson, Dagmar Freist, Elizabeth Foyster, Margaret Pelling, Pamela Sharpe,Tim Stretton, Barbara Todd, and Lyndan Warner.
Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. Part One: Defining Widowhood. 1. Introduction - Sandra Cavallo/Lyndan Warner. 2. Men, women, and widows: some implications of the terminology of widowhood in pre-Conquest England - Julia Crick. 3. Finding widowers: men without women in English towns before 1700 - Margaret Pelling.
Part Two: Models and Paradoxes. 4. The widow's options in medieval southern Italy Patricia Skinner 5. The virtuous widow in Protestant England - Barbara Todd. 6. Widows, widowers and the problem of 'second marriages' in sixteenth-century France - Lyndan Warner. 7. Marrying the experienced widow in early modern England: the male perspective - Elizabeth Foyster. Part Three: Marital and Family Constraints. 8. Lineage strategies and the control of widows in Renaissance Florence - Isabelle Chabot. 9. Property and widowhood in England 1660-1840 - Amy Louise Erickson. 10. Religious difference and the experience of widowhood in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Germany - Dagmar Freist. Part Four: Self-constructions in Legal, Religious and Institutional Narratives. 11. Widowhood and religious expression in early modern Spain: the view from Avila - Jodi Bilinkoff. 12. Widows at law in Tudor and Stuart England - Tim Stretton. 13. Widows, the state and the custody of children in early modern Tuscany - Giulia Calvi. 14. Survival strategies and stories: poor widows and widowers in early industrial England - Pam Sharpe. Suggestions for reading on widowhood. Notes on contibutors. Index.