Singlewomen in Early Modern England
By (author) Amy M. Froide
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Never Married by Amy M. Froide
Book DescriptionNever Married: Singlewomen in Early Modern England investigates a paradox in the history of early modern England: although one third of adult women were never married, these women have remained largely absent from historical scholarship. Amy Froide reintroduces us to the category of difference called marital status and to the significant ways it shaped the life experiences of early modern women. By de-centring marriage as the norm in social, economic, and cultural terms, her book critically refines our current understanding of people's lives in the past and adds to a recent line of scholarship that questions just how common 'traditional' families really were. This book is both a social-economic study of singlewomen and a cultural study of the meanings of singleness in early modern England. It focuses on never-married women in England's provincial towns, and on singlewomen from a broad social spectrum. Covering the entire early modern era, it reveals that this was a time of transition in the history of never-married women. During the sixteenth century life-long singlewomen were largely absent from popular culture, but by the eighteenth century they had become a central concern of English society. As the first book of original research to focus on singlewomen on the period, it also illuminates other areas of early modern history. Froide reveals the importance of kinship in the past to women without husbands and children, as well as to widows, widowers, single men, and orphans. Examining the contributions of working and propertied singlewomen, she is able to illustrate the importance of gender and marital status to urban economies and to notions of urban citizenship in the early modern era. Tracing the origins of the spinster and old maid stereotypes she reveals how singlewomen were marginalized as first the victims and then the villains of Protestant English society.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199270606
(242mm x 162mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 24-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Amy M. Froide
Silent Partners, Hardback (October 2016)
Restores women to their place in the story of England's Financial Revolution: as active participants in London's first stock market in the 1690s, women invested for themselves and their families, meaning that women's capital was a critical component of Britain's rise to economic, military, and colonial dominance in the eighteenth century.
Never Married, Paperback (August 2007)» View all books by Amy M. Froide
In the first original study of the women who never married in early modern England, Amy Froide looks at how their lives differed from those of wives and widows, at their social relationships, and at how singlewomen supported themselves. She also examines the contributions they made to urban life and the origins of the old maid stereotype.
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