Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England 1500-1800

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Jan 1, 1995 - History - 442 pages
5 Reviews
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 civilisation, 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. 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 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 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.
  

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Review: Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England, 1500-1800

User Review  - Katie - Goodreads

Fletcher takes on way too much in this book, but his argument is an interesting idea. Unfortunately, the material he uses to support it isn't always convincing, in part because he's trying to connect ... Read full review

Review: Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England, 1500-1800

User Review  - Goodreads

Fletcher takes on way too much in this book, but his argument is an interesting idea. Unfortunately, the material he uses to support it isn't always convincing, in part because he's trying to connect ... Read full review

Contents

Mens Dilemmas
3
Engraving of the Four Humours from L Thurneisser Quinta
12
Functional Anatomies
30
Fungible Fluids Heat and Concoction
44
The Weaker Vessel
60
Effeminacy and Manhood
83
Prescription and Honour Codes
101
The Gentry and Honour
126
Mens Work Womens Work
223
Letter from Katherine Oxenden to her mother 1655 British
237
Beyond the Household
256
New Thinking New Knowledge
283
Educating Boys
297
Between pages 298 and
299
Woodcut of a ducking stool sixteenthcentury from A strange
317
The Construction of Masculinity
322

A scolds bridle and the Newcastle cloak an illustration of punish
138
Body of Man 1616
138
Case Studies
154
Living Together
173
Marital Violence
192
Detail of frontispiece Thomas Dawson The Good Huswifes Jewell
199
Household Order
204
Women and Religion
347
Engraving of Susanna Perwick frontispiece J Batchiler The Virgins
357
Educating Girls
364
Gender Patriarchy and Early Modem Society
401
BIBLIOGRAPHY
414
INDEX
434
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Anthony Fletcher

Anthony Fletcher was Professor of History, University of Essex.

Diarmaid MacCulloch

Diarmaid MacCulloch is one of the leading historians of Tudor England and is Professor of Church History in the Theology Faculty at the University of Oxford. He has written widely in the past, including the books 'Thomas Cranmer: A Life' (Yale University Press) and 'Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation' (Penguin). He is currently writing a major survey of the European Reformation for Penguin.

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