The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500 - 1800by Olwen Hufton
Already hailed by English critics as "one of the most important works of history to be published since the Second World War, " Olwen Hufton's fascinating and brilliantly learned study begins, in this first of two volumes, with a wide ranging exploration of women's fate in Western Europe from medieval times to the early modern age. of illustrations.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Random House
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 6 MB
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This is a very down-to-earth collection of studies that convey the state of women's lives in a grinding age of uphill struggle. The accounts start in a setting of religious war, famine, plague, witch hunts, and economic upheavals that make the 1930s Great Depression look gentle. We are introduced to real women from these centuries who tell their stories with candor. There are thread-spinning "spinsters" who lose their jobs en masse, Catholic nuns breaking out of cloisters for vocations beyond chastity, and Protestant wives doing likewise with less institutional support. Hufton's contributors trace the mainly volunteer-driven rise of education by and for females. They portray Europe's ancient caste-like divisions of roles or virtues for men and for women, which shift at roughly the speed of a melting glacier. From seeing initiative by females as the original source of evil, society begins to trust tapping women's potential for innovation. --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization