Ann Crabb

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online June 2012 | | DOI:

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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The history of widows is part of the history of women. It was also a distinctive phase of female experience in the Renaissance and Reformation periods, and the related late medieval and early modern periods. Widowhood was both the time of the greatest potential autonomy for women and a time of limits on this autonomy, of public suspicion, and often of poverty. Relevant themes include widows’ experience in particular countries, attitudes to widows and widowhood, mourning practices, remarriage, the experience of widows at different social levels, widows and religion, and widows and the arts. Suspicion of widows was universal, not needing to be divided by country, but the methods widows used to negotiate around restrictive attitudes will be dealt with by country. Some of the authors mentioned in this bibliography try to present data on widows in a neutral fashion, but most come down on one side or another: the positive side, that is, that widowhood presented opportunities for action, in spite of limitations, or the negative side, emphasizing the problems it brought,

Article.  8526 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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