Family, Gender, and Law in Early Modern France

Overview

The essays in Family, Gender, and Law in Early Modern France explore how ordinary men and women negotiated power within early modern French households and continually reinvented their families in response to external forces. Larger processes, such as state building, religious reform, changing understandings of gender roles, and economic developments, influenced family practices in the areas of marriage, separation, guardianship, and illegitimacy. Relatives, gender, community, and the law imposed limits upon ...
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Overview

The essays in Family, Gender, and Law in Early Modern France explore how ordinary men and women negotiated power within early modern French households and continually reinvented their families in response to external forces. Larger processes, such as state building, religious reform, changing understandings of gender roles, and economic developments, influenced family practices in the areas of marriage, separation, guardianship, and illegitimacy. Relatives, gender, community, and the law imposed limits upon families but also provided opportunities for agency. Contributors investigate patterns of courtship and decisions about marriage; the financial power exercised by wives; marital conflict and related controversies about gender, sexuality, and social order; death and guardianship; and the legitimization of children born out of wedlock. While addressing a variety of topics, this volume focuses on family members as individuals with complicated agendas and strategies of their own.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271034720
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Desan is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Jeffrey Merrick is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

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Table of Contents

1 Making and breaking marriage : an overview of Old Regime marriage as a social practice Suzanne Desan Desan, Suzanne 1

2 Marriage choice and marital success : reasoning about marriage, love, and happiness Dena Goodman Goodman, Dena 26

3 Family affairs : wives, credit, consumption, and the law in Old Regime France Clare Crowston Crowston, Clare 62

4 Between state and street : witnesses and the family politics of litigation in early modern France Julie Hardwick Hardwick, Julie 101

5 Marital conflict in political context : Langeac vs. Chambonas, 1775 Jeffrey Merrick Merrick, Jeffrey 137

6 Gender, kin, and guardianship in early modern Burgundy Christopher Corley Corley, Christopher 183

7 On the contested margins of the family : bastardy and legitimation by royal rescript in eighteenth-century France Matthew Gerber Gerber, Matthew 223

Suggested readings 265

Contributors 269

Index 271

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