Synopses & Reviews
In this informative and lively volume, Margaret L. King synthesizes a large body of literature on the condition of western European women in the Renaissance centuries (1350-1650), crafting a much-needed and unified overview of women's experience in Renaissance society.
Utilizing the perspectives of social, church, and intellectual history, King looks at women of all classes, in both usual and unusual settings. She first describes the familial roles filled by most women of the day—as mothers, daughters, wives, widows, and workers. She turns then to that significant fraction of women in, and acted upon, by the church: nuns, uncloistered holy women, saints, heretics, reformers,and witches, devoting special attention to the social and economic independence monastic life afforded them. The lives of exceptional women, those warriors, queens, patronesses, scholars, and visionaries who found some other place in society for their energies and strivings, are explored, with consideration given to the works and writings of those first protesting female subordination: the French Christine de Pizan, the Italian Modesta da Pozzo, the English Mary Astell.
Of interest to students of European history and women's studies, King's volume will also appeal to general readers seeking an informative, engaging entrance into the Renaissance period.
"In her portrait of European women during the period from 1350 to 1650, Margaret King responds to the question first posed by Joan Kelly a decade ago: 'did women have a Renaissance'? King investigates women of all classes in three different yet related settings—the family, the Church, and in High Culture. Her analysis is penetrating, her language elegant, her findings enlightening regarding the multiple limitations upon female creativity, freedom of action and thought. Yet, despite all, some women were able to triumph in a male-dominated Renaissance which sought to rein in women's spirit, women's souls." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Series Editor's ForewordIntroduction1. Daughters of Eve: Women in the Family2. Daughters of Mary: Women and the Church3. Virgo Et Virago: Women and High CultureNotesWorks CitedIndex
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Foreword
1. Daughters of Eve: Women in the Family
2. Daughters of Mary: Women and the Church
3. Virgo Et Virago: Women and High Culture