Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England, 1500-1800 / Edition 1

Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England, 1500-1800 / Edition 1

by Anthony Fletcher
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0300076509

ISBN-13: 9780300076509

Pub. Date: 03/11/1999

Publisher: Yale University Press

Men and women in early modern England lived their lives within a social and gender framework inherited from biblical times. Patriarchy-the social and cultural dominance of the male-has long been a fundamental feature of western civilization yet has only recently begun to be systematically investigated by historians. This book is the first attempt to provide a rounded

Overview

Men and women in early modern England lived their lives within a social and gender framework inherited from biblical times. Patriarchy-the social and cultural dominance of the male-has long been a fundamental feature of western civilization yet has only recently begun to be systematically investigated by historians. This book is the first attempt to provide a rounded portrait of its workings over a long stretch of the English past.

Anthony Fletcher's account draws from a vast range of sources-literary, medical, religious, and historical-to investigate the mechanisms through which men and women interpreted and understood their social worlds. He explores the early modern view of the body, of sexual desire and appetites, and of gender difference. He looks at the nature of marital relationships and shows how subordination was implemented and consolidated through church, school, home, and community. And in a text that is poignant, humane, and beautifully written, he exposes patriarchy's tragic consequences: smothered opportunity, crushed sexuality, and a pall across many women's lives.

Yet, over these three centuries, the conventional foundations of male superiority came under acute pressure. Fletcher reveals the depth of male anxiety in the face of women's volatility, verbal assertiveness, and alleged vibrant sexuality, and he shows how the gender system began to be transformed as men sought to detach it from its biblical foundations and inculcate gender identities on something like their modern ideological basis. This revolution in the entire premise upon which gender was grounded is fundamental to an understanding of the structure of English society today.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300076509
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/11/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
492
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.09(d)

Table of Contents

List of Plates
vii
Preface and Acknowledgements x
Abbreviations xiii
Introduction xv
PART I BEFORE THE GENDERED BODY 1(98)
Prologue: Men's Dilemmas
3(27)
Functional Anatomies
30(14)
Fungible Fluids, Heat and Concotion
44(16)
The Weaker Vessel
60(23)
Effeminacy and Manhood
83(16)
PART II THE WORKING OF PATRIARCHY 99(182)
Prologue: Prescription and Honour Codes
101(25)
The Gentry and Honour
126(28)
Husbands and Wives: Case Studies
154(19)
Living Together
173(19)
Marital Violence
192(12)
Household Order
204(19)
Men's Work, Women's Work
223(33)
Beyond the Household
256(25)
PART III TOWARDS MODERN GENDER 281(133)
Prologue: New Thinking, New Knowledge
283(14)
Educating Boys
297(25)
The Construction of Masculinity
322(25)
Women and Religion
347(17)
Educating Girls
364(12)
The Construction of Femininity
376(25)
Gender, Patriarchy and Early Modern Society
401(13)
Bibliography 414(20)
Index 434

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