Widowhood in Early Modern Spain by Stephanie Fink De Backer download in pdf, ePub, iPad
The first is the recognition that the experience of widowhood was deeply gendered. Although widowhood was a condition which was shared by men and women alike, their contrasting experiences reflected the patriarchal society in which they lived. Her statistics of male remarriage rates are consistent with earlier studies.
We welcome proposals for both single-author volumes and edited collections which expand and develop this continually evolving field of study. When her elder daughter returned home from a convent because she was seriously ill, Landucci aided her to write a will which effectively left all the paternal patrimony to her mother.
Surely, the fragmentation of contexts deriving from a greater variety of situations would not make the volume more representative. This concern for innovative approaches has directed the choice of contributions only partly based on the papers presented at the symposium. The emphasis in the volume is rather on unfamiliar questions and on objects of study which may throw new light on our understanding of the subject. Her second husband does not seem to have benefited at all, unlike the cause celebre which engendered the French edict discussed in Warner's essay.
It was also a distinctive phase of female experience in the Renaissance and Reformation periods, and the related late medieval and early modern periods. 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. In this context, the fury of the fifteenth-century Florentine Davizzi brothers in the face of the actions of their sister Lena, studied by Isabelle Chabot, is entirely comprehensible. Much more preferable in the eyes of elite families was the reflected glory to be found by association when widowed members acted as sponsors of ecclesiastical institutions. The dividing line between widowhood empowerment and the empowerment of adult females in general is often uncertain.
Only Pelling and Sharpe introduce us to the poor widow, while the work of Foyster, Friest and Stretton demonstrates that there is some highly suggestive material about the middling groups in society. They also had expectations of the kind of lifestyle to which they were entitled. Widowhood in Medieval and Early Modern Europe.
High male remarriage rates can also be taken as a measure of the essential roles played by a wife in the economy of the poor. As a result, the question as posed in the original symposium loses much of its force. Comparison in any case was not the prime purpose of this project.
Studies of remarriage by widows also highlight the continuities in experience and skills which stretched across the period of widowhood from a first marriage to a second. One of these novel dimensions, as suggested by Cowan, is the shift in focus from widows to gender. The volume is a useful addition to gender studies and the growing literature on the complex role of images in early modern society.
This is only partly compensated for by the bibliography. 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. As Chabot points out, her case was exceptional.