Working Women in English Society, 1300-1620

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 2, 2005 - Business & Economics - 291 pages
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This study explores the diverse and changing ways in which English women participated in the market economy between 1300 and 1620. Marjorie Keniston McIntosh assesses women's activity by examining their engagement in the production and sale of goods, service work, credit relationships, and leasing of property. Using substantial new evidence from equity court petitions and microhistorical studies of five market centres, she challenges both traditional views of a 'golden age' for women's work and more recent critiques. She argues that the level of women's participation in the market economy fluctuated considerably during this period under the pressure of demographic, economic, social, and cultural change. Although women always faced gender-based handicaps, some of them enjoyed wider opportunities during the generations following the plague of 13489. By the late sixteenth century, however, these opportunities had largely disappeared and their work was concentrated at the bottom of the economic system.
  

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User Review  - Angelic55blonde - LibraryThing

This is a great book that focuses on women who worked during the early modern time period in England. Her main argument is that the level of women's participation in the economy varied and that even ... Read full review

Contents

Womens work in its social setting
3
Studying working women
14
how have scholars interpreted the sources?
28
3 Continuity and change
37
Providing services
43
Domestic and personal services
45
1 Livein servants
46
2 Taking in boarders
61
Drink work
140
1 Brewing ale
145
2 Aleselling
156
3 Beer wine and taverns
163
were women displaced from the drink trades around 1500?
170
The food trades and innkeeping
182
2 Other foods
190
3 Innkeeping
202

3 Nonresidential household employment sex work and health care
72
Financial services and real estate
85
2 Lending money
98
3 Pawning goods
107
4 Renting out property
114
Making and selling goods
117
General features of womens work as producers and sellers
119
1 Characteristics of production and sale
120
2 Apprenticeship
133
Womens participation in the skilled crafts
210
2 Other crafts
234
Turning the coin women as consumers
239
Conclusion
250
Appendices
254
Bibliography
272
Index
288
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About the author (2005)

Marjorie K. McIntosh is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her previous publications include A Community Transformed: The Manor and Liberty of Havering, 1500-1620 (1991) and Controlling Misbehavior in England, 1370-1600 (1998).

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