The Patriarch's Wife: Literary Evidence and the History of the Family

Front Cover
Contemporary historians have commonly viewed the family of the past as rigidly authoritarian, with power resting in the man of the house. In her innovative revisionist study Margaret Ezell examines this modern model of domestic patriarchalism in seventeenth-century England and finds it oversimplified and misleading.

Ezell questions whether the literary evidence presently used to reconstruct the lives of seventeenth-century women-- diaries, plays, poems, and treatises on domestic piety--accurately reflects the period. Investigating alternative forms of intellectual exchange, such as manuscript circulation and correspondence networks among women, she discovers articulate women who did not wear their oppression lightly. Included here are previously unpublished manuscripts by seventeenth-century women writers as well as an appendix of three manuscripts on the status of women by Sir Robert Filmer, Mary More, and Robert Whitehall. This book makes a major contribution to the social and cultural history of women and the family and to the study of literature as historical artifact.

Originally published in 1987.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Defining Characteristics
9
The Good Wife
36
CHAPTER 3
49
Copyright

10 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information