The Bonds of Womanhood: "woman's Sphere" in New England, 1780-1835

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Yale University Press, 1997 - History - 225 pages
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This twentieth anniversary edition of Nancy F. Cott’s acclaimed study includes a new preface in which Cott assesses her own and other historian’s development of the concept of domesticity from the 1970s to the 1990s.

"Nancy Cott’s Bonds of Womanhood is not just a pioneer work in women’s history. It is a classic. Despite all the work published since, it is still an essential starting place for understanding New England in the early republic.”--Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

"Cott, still the best historian of women’s bonds and bondage, foresaw twenty years ago the tendency of domesticity’s bonds to lead both to feminism and the far right. An essential book for understanding today’s women.”--Carolyn Heilbrun

Reviews of the earlier edition:

"A lovely, gentle, scholarly, and valuable book.”--Doris Grumbach, New York Times Book Review

"Women’s history at its best.”--Phyllis Kriegel, New Directions for Women

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - feminist_prof - LibraryThing

Not "necessary" reading, but an interesting read about female friendships and bonds in American history. Tackles the tension and possible readings of "womanhood" in colonial New England. Read full review


1 Work
2 Domesticity
3 Education
4 Religion
5 Sisterhood
On Womans Sphere and Feminism
List of Womens Documents Consulted
List of Ministers Sermons Consulted

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About the author (1997)

Nancy F. Cott is Stanley Woodward Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University. She is also the author of A Woman Making History: Mary Ritter Beard Through Her Letters and The Grounding of Modern Feminism, published by Yale University Press.

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