Public Lives

Eleanor Hubbard

in City Women

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609345
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739088 | DOI:
Public Lives

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter discusses women's public lives within the neighborhood, paying particular attention to women's efforts to achieve and maintain high status in the eyes of their neighbors, and their roles in maintaining community stability by monitoring the treatment of women in childbed and intervening in troubled households to restore order and reconcile warring spouses. Reconciliation was nearly always privileged as a solution to marital troubles, whether these resulted from domestic violence or adultery. This chapter stresses the importance of neighborly sociability and drinking rituals, and the use of arbitration and mediation to resolve arguments. It examines some of the main causes of conflict within the neighborhood: women quarreled with one another over status, their husbands, their children, and when their efforts to repel the filth of the early modern city came into conflict.

Keywords: neighborhood; childbirth; drinking; arbitration; social order; status disputes; early modern London; children; women

Chapter.  22856 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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