Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women's Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 / Edition 1

Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England: Women's Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 / Edition 1

by Judith M. Bennett
     
 

Women brewed and sold most of the ale drunk in medieval England, but after 1350, men slowly took over the trade. By 1600, most brewers in London - as well as in many towns and villages - were male, not female. Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England investigates this transition, asking how, when, and why brewing ceased to be a women's trade and became a trade of men.… See more details below

Overview

Women brewed and sold most of the ale drunk in medieval England, but after 1350, men slowly took over the trade. By 1600, most brewers in London - as well as in many towns and villages - were male, not female. Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England investigates this transition, asking how, when, and why brewing ceased to be a women's trade and became a trade of men. Drawing on a wide variety of sources - such as literary and artistic materials, court records, accounts, and administrative orders - Judith Bennett vividly describes how brewsters (that is, female brewers) slowly left the trade. She tells a story of commercial growth, gild formation, changing technologies, innovative regulations, and finally, enduring ideas that linked brewsters with drunkenness and disorder. Examining this instance of seemingly dramatic change in women's status, Bennett argues that it included significant elements of continuity. Women might not have brewed in 1600 as often as they had in 1300, but they still worked predominantly in low-status, low-skilled, and poorly remunerated tasks. Using the experiences of brewsters to rewrite the history of women's work during the rise of capitalism, Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England offers a telling story of the endurance of patriarchy in a time of dramatic economic change.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195126501
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
327,491
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviationsxiii
A Brief Note on Conventions and Termsxv
1Brewsters3
2When Women Brewed14
3New Markets, Lost Opportunities: Singlewomen and Widows as Harbingers of Change37
4Working Together: Wives and Husbands in the Brewers' Gild of London60
5New Beer, Old Ale: Why Was Female to Male as Ale Was to Beer?77
6Gender Rules: Women and the Regulation of Brewing98
7These Things Must Be if We Sell Ale: Alewives in English Culture and Society122
8Women's Work in a Changing World145
AppendixInterpreting Presentments under the Assize of Ale158
Notes187
Bibliography237
Index251

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