Posted by Cassia on July 18, 1997 at 15:10:31:
I found a great new referece for social history last week. It's called: The Prospect before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe Vol I 1500-1800 by Olwen Hufton, one of the founders of the concept of Women's Studies. As it begins with the Rennaissance and continues the three hundred years through to the Napoleanic/Regency period it give a great deal of background of the formation of the ideas that ruled women's lives we are all so familiar with through JA are put into context. So not only do you learn what an entail or strict settlement is, you understand why it came about. The volume is broken into section which deal with courtship, marriage, widowhood, motherhood, ect.
The chapeters i found most interesting were: Chapter 2 "The Strategic Plan: Marriage as a Goal" and Chapter 3 "Finding a Partner, Or a Queation of Choice." The changing conventions pf courtship are covered in depth and my reading gave me a wealth of ideas I can use to solve problems in my fan fic. Unfortunately as hufton focuses on women as much as can be allowed, some of the finer points of property law is missed as women have no true in these matters intil the mid 1870's. Chapter 9 "Corresponding Women" gives a concise history of pre-nineteenth century female writers of all sorts ranging from Aphra Behn to Fanny Burney. Chapter 11 'The Moving Finger" give an idea of how the education of women grew during this era.
For both sexes, the goal was not to merely marriage, but joining the couple in a "fitting match" an instructive concept in which appropriateness was the acriterion...p.65
Canon law forbade marriage within degress of consanguinity: parents could not marry their children, nor brothers sisters and cousins to the fourth degress were also excluded from the marriage pool (so what does this make of Fanny and Edmund?)...p.65
In all countries, unequal and unfitting matches might take place, but they represented, as it were, a failure in the system of values and as such their doom was regared as probably ineveitalbe...p.67
The dowry became increasingly formalised in the 16th and 17th centuries and contined to be so as the mark of a more stable and more commercially evolved society. Women became the bearers of liquid wealth...p. 67
The "Bibliographical Essay" is broken into topics which makes it very easy to use for further research. Many of the books listed are available in both public and university libraries. Unfortunely, the same cannot be said of the essays; I could only find a few in all the libraries I checked (Carnegie of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon U, U of Pitt). Oh well, can't have everything.
Personally, I can hardly wait for Volume II!
The Prospect before Her:
A History of Women in Western Europe Olwen Hufton US Publisher Alfred A Knopf NY 1996 UK HarperCollins Publishers LTD London 1995
ISBN 0-679-45030-0 Sorry, I didn't get the price.
- Cousins (was: Hey You Guys!!! A Great Source of Info) The Mysterious H.C. 13:18:39 7/19/97 (1)
- Re: Cousins (was: Hey You Guys!!! A Great Source of Info) Cassia 16:04:38 7/19/97 (0)
- Re: Hey You Guys!!! A Great Source of Info Xenia 16:47:57 7/18/97 (0)
- Re: Hey You Guys!!! A Great Source of Info Cassia 15:11:25 7/18/97 (1)
- Re: Hey You Guys!!! A Great Source of Info Cassia 15:12:53 7/18/97 (0)
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