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This anthology brings together extracts from a wide variety of seventeenth-century sources to illustrate the ways in which the cultural notion of 'women' was then constructed. historical circumstances of women's lives in the seventeenth century and the cultural notions of 'woman' which prevailed then.
What did women and men think women should be?
Over 200 extracts from books, pamphlets, diaries and letters are arranged under three main headings: female nature, character and behaviour; female roles and affairs; and 'feminisms.' Each chapter is introduced by N.H. Keeble who contextualises the extracts and draws out the main issues revised.