Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $39.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 27%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (6) from $39.95   
  • New (2) from $47.97   
  • Used (4) from $39.95   


This study explores the diverse and varied meanings of manhood in early modern England and their complex, and often contested, relationship with patriarchal principles. Using social, political, and medical commentary, alongside evidence of social practice derived from court records, Dr. Shepard argues that patriarchal ideology contained numerous contradictions, and that, while males were its primary beneficiaries, it was undermined and opposed by men as well as women. Patriarchal concepts of manhood existed in tension both with anti-patriarchal forms of resistance and with alternative codes of manhood which were sometimes primarily defined independently of patriarchal imperatives. As a result the differences within each sex, as well as between them, were intrinsic to the practice of patriarchy and the social distribution of its dividends in early modern England.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The whole study convincingly shows that concepts of gender interacted in very complicated ways with other social distinctions based on age, wealth, status, and moral probity, allowing alternative concepts of masculinity to emerge." —Modern History

"Shepard's book makes a valuable and long-awaited contribution to British history and gender studies. Her shrewd attention to detail and innovative analytical approach not only clarify the complex and often incongruent relationship between patriarchy and manhood, but also shed light on the fragility of men's social legitimacy and access to patriarchal authority in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Shepard not only forges a new path in gender history, but also opens a window into an often neglected, but significant, facet of social change in early modern England." —Canadian Journal of History

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199299348
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: Oxford Studies in Social History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Christ's College, Cambridge
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Conventions and Abbreviations
Introduction 1
Pt. I Modelling Manhood
1 The Constant Age 21
2 The Imagined Body of 'Man's Estate' 47
3 Models of Manhood 70
Pt. II The Social Practice of Manhood
4 Youthful Excess and Fraternal Bonding 93
5 The Violence of Manhood 127
6 Respectability, Sex, and Status 152
7 Credit, Provision, and Worth 186
8 The 'Ancienter Sort' 214
Conclusion: Manhood, Patriarchy, and Gender in Early Modern England 246
Bibliography 254
Index 277
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)