Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford

in Women in Early Modern England 1550–1720

Published in print May 1998 | ISBN: 9780198201243
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191674846 | DOI:

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This chapter examines the intellectual and cultural ‘givens’ of early modern society, the world of discourses about gender into which every woman was born. Much recent work has focused on the dominant discourses which constructed woman. Discourses provided certain narrative scripts by which modern women could live their lives and interpret the meaning of events. In examining some of the ways in which ideas about gender differences were expressed and perpetuated in early modern England, this chapter looks at a number of headings: medical understandings of women's bodies, religious teachings, the gender bias in legal structures, popular notions, stereotypes, and the links between different contexts.

Keywords: medicine; religious teachings; religion; stereotypes; gender differences; gender bias

Chapter.  26039 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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