The Household and the Making of History: A Subversive View of the Western Past

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April 2004



Contrary to previously-held views, this book argues that a unique late marriage pattern explains the continuing puzzle of why Western Europe was the site of changes that gave birth to the modern world. It contends that the roots of modern developments are located in history more than a millennium earlier, when the peasants in northwestern Europe began to marry their daughters almost as late as their sons. This phenomenon affords a more understandable account of items long considered as peculiar Western achievements, including the industrial revolution and mass democratic political movements.


1. How Northwestern Europe was strange: marriage, household, and history; 2. Marrying early and marrying late: divergent and parallel lives; 3. The riddle of the 'Western family patterns'; 4. The women and men of Montaillou and Salem Village: patterns of gender and power; 5. Communities in crisis: heresy, witchcraft, and the sexes in Montaillou and Salem; 6. What men and women want; 7. Interpreting the Western past with the women and the households left in, 1500-1800; 8. The late marriage household, the sexes, and the modern world.


'This is a really exciting book, taking a bold stance about the nature of gender relations in Western society, and about the role gender relations played in a larger history. It's a big picture effort, by an imaginative scholar working from one of the key findings in comparative family history. It will cause debate, stimulate further reassessment - in general, do what an ambitious historical synthesis should do.' Peter Stearns, George Mason University '... a brilliant if sometimes, at least in later chapters, contentious study ...'. BBC History Magazine
EAN: 9780521536691
ISBN: 0521536693
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: April 2004
Seitenanzahl: 297 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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