The MA in History

Is going well so far – waiting for my third essay result with trepidation.  4,000 words “Historiographical Review of Deviant Women’s Lives in Seventeenth Century England and Scotland.”

Thats over 40 books / articles to read, digest and summarise.  It took a long, long time.  And so as such I’m behind with sewing….and I have the after effects of flu -week 4 and counting- and feel honestly dreadful.  Chin up….. and carry on…

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Just a selection of some of the titles, you can find my conclusion at the end of the blog post if you’re interested.

During the way I found some wonderful primary sources on the evil of coffee.

Bring it on!

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The historiography of deviant women has expanded since the 1980’s.  Alice Clark’s ground-breaking work has been challenged and expanded.  Second wave feminist authors paid more attention to deviant women who fought for, and obtained, freedom from restrictions, and negotiated patriarchal rule in their own way.  They argued against previous literature where women were hardly mentioned, idealised or viewed from a male perspective.  The historiographical record has been expanded to cover adulterous wives, unmarried economically independent women, sexually active mistresses, prostitutes, illegitimate mothers, hucksters, scolding and violent women, thieving and drunken revellers. Women’s voices were liberated from court documents to give examples of slander, gossiping, defence and accusations.  More research is required on prostitution in England and Scotland and the effects of religious theology post-reformation and during Puritan leadership.  Scottish historians were later to exploring the role of women in general and deviant women in particular. More work is required and more comparisons with England need to be made.  Studies into deviant women which would benefit from more research, utilising other methodology in addition to court records which can lead to a negative and formal bias.  A 2017 study Gender, Culture and Politics in England, 1560-1640: Turning the World Upside Down leads the way forward with a wide ranging study looking at reasons for deviance and paradoxes in the natural, political and familial order of early modern life.  Capp makes an important statement ‘in attempting to define a distinctly female subculture …we run the risk of imposing an artificial uniformity.’  There is a need to continue studying both gender and social position in juxtaposition and looking at individual case studies and regional variation.    There is more to discover on the role of deviant women, in groups and individuals, from the wife to the whore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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