When Gossips Meet: Women, Family, and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England
Oxford University Press, 2004 - 398 pagine
This book explores how women of the poorer and middling sorts in early modern England negotiated a patriarchal culture in which they were generally excluded, marginalized, or subordinated. It focuses on the networks of close friends ('gossips') which gave them a social identity beyond thenarrowly domestic, providing both companionship and practical support in disputes with husbands and with neighbours of either sex. The book also examines the micropolitics of the household, with its internal alliances and feuds, and women's agency in neighbourhood politics, exercised by shapinglocal public opinion, exerting pressure on parish officials, and through the role of informal female juries. If women did not openly challenge male supremacy, they could often play a significant role in shaping their own lives and the life of the local community.
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