Women in European Culture and Society: A Sourcebook includes a range of transnational sources which encompass the history of women in Europe from the beginning of the eighteenth century right up to the present day. Including documents from across Europe, from France and Germany to Estonia, Spain and Russia, organized in a broad chronological spread, the diversity of the sources included in the book is unique – including many never translated into English before. Deborah Simonton offers detailed interpretive introductions that analyse and contextualize the sources.
A central feature is its exploration of how women operated within gendered worlds and used their skills and abilities to shape and claim their own identities and to engage with how they contributed as practitioners to shaping European culture and society. With over 200 sources, the book allows us to ‘hear’ women’s voices as they articulate their understandings of their worlds and helps capture a sense of women’s motivations, options and choices as they understood them - allowing readers to focus on either a period or a theme and providing a comparative resource.
Ideal for use on its own or as a companion volume to Simonton’s other major work, Women in European Culture and Society: Gender, Skill and Identity since 1700, this sourcebook is an invaluable collection offering vivid first-hand accounts of women’s lives.
'A wonderful collection, giving students access to over 200 sources by and about European women from c.1700, and highlighting the rich diversity of their experiences. Particularly valuable is the large selection of materials from countries often omitted in European sourcebooks.'
Elizabeth Ewan, University of Guelph, Canada
'Women in European Culture and Society since 1700: A Sourcebook is a particularly welcome collection both because it covers a lengthy period and because it is genuinely European in scope, allowing for comparisons and contrasts and providing evidence of continuity and change in women’s history. The introductory focus on historiography and method, and the chronological and thematic structure, with its overlap and echoes of voices between chapters, make this an especially useful text for teaching not only specialist areas but also European survey courses.'
Jane McDermid, University of Southampton, UK
Contents Acknowledgements Introduction Part 1 Rights of Man and Duties of Woman Prelude: Women’s identity in eighteenth-century culture Chapter 1: Intimate Worlds: self, sex and family On Woman Educating Girls Transitions 1Women going it alone Marriage Law Husbands and Wives Experts on childcare Mothers and Children Chapter 2: Community Spaces Keeping House Labouring Women Artisans Businesswomen Midwifery Chapter 3: Wider Worlds – Gendering the Enlightenment Rulers Political Culture Intellectual Rights Science and intellect Travelling women Intermezzo: The Revolutionary Era Rights of Women Reflections on Revolution Part 2 Domesticity and Industrialism Prelude: Legacy of the Enlightenment Chapter 4: Intimate Worlds – self, sex and family Educating Women Bridging Two Worlds Marriage Singletons Mothers and Children Chapter 5: Community Spaces Keeping a Good House Rural Worlds Urban workers Business and Professions Chapter 6: Shaping Wider Worlds Political Women Worlds of Talent Intermezzo: La Belle Époque Female Health Votes for Women Travel and Empire Part 3 Modern Times Prelude: Carrying Linda’s Stones Chapter 7: Intimacy and Independence Finding their Way Changing Values Women’s Realities Motherhood Singletons Chapter 8: The Transitional Community Work and Identity War Work Women at Work Legislation and unemployment Chapter 9: The Wider Stage Feminism The Elephant in the Room Political Activism Global Politics Legacies of Empire Worlds of Creativity Further Reading Index