Synopses & Reviews
In this book, the author provides a detailed analysis of kinship, household and family relations in early modern France. He discusses the strength of kinship and family ties, the structure of households, the rights and duties of husband and wife, their authority over their children, the role of the family in education, the position of servants within the family, the attitudes and sentiments of different family members towards each other and the differences between noble and peasant families. He also deals with the changes in the patterns of sexual life that occurred in this period and investigates the beginnings of birth control in the late eighteenth century, and the possibilities or abortion and divorce. Professor Flandrin uses primarily documentary evidence from early modern France, but also draws comparisons with England in the same period, and with the medieval and modern family. His book provides a fascinating account of the intimate life of men and women in past society, and shows how that society has exerted a lasting influence on the behaviour of our contemporaries.