The Youth of Early Modern Women
The Youth of Early Modern Women
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Table of Contents List of Illustrations Contributor Notes Introduction Elizabeth S. Cohen and Margaret Reeves Part 1 Concepts and representations 1. 'A Prospect of Flowers': Concepts of Childhood and Female Youth in Seventeenth-Century British Culture Margaret Reeves 2. A Roving Woman: The Rover, Part 1 and Hellena's Self-Creation of Youth Sarah Morris 3. 'She is but a girl': Talk of Young Women as Daughters, Wives, and Mothers in the Records of the English Consistory Courts, 1550-1650 Jennifer McNabb 4. Flight and Confinement: Female Youth, Agency, and Emotions in Sixteenth-Century New Spain Jacqueline Holler 5. Harlots and Camp Followers: Swiss Renaissance Drawings of Young Women circa 1520 Christiane Andersson Part 2 Self-representations: life-writing and letters 6. Three Sisters of Carmen: The Youths of Teresa de Jesús, María de San José, and Ana de San Bartolomé Barbara Mujica 7. Elite English Girlhood in Early Modern Ireland: The Examples of Mary Boyle and Alice Wandesford Julie A. Eckerle 8. Young Women Negotiating Fashion in Early Modern Florence Megan Moran 9. 'Is it possible that my sister . . . has had a baby?': The Early Years of Marriage as a Transition from Girlhood to Womanhood in the Letters of Three Generations of Orange-Nassau Women Jane Couchman Part 3 Training for adulthood 10. Malleable Youth: Forging Female Education in Early Modern Rome Alessandra Franco 11. The Material Culture of Female Youth in Bologna, 1550-1600 Michele Nicole Robinson 12. Becoming a Woman in the Dutch Republic: Advice Literature for Young Adult Women of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Marja van Tilburg Part 4 Courtship and becoming sexual 13. Straying and Led Astray: Roman Maids Become Young Women circa 1600 Elizabeth S. Cohen 14. A Room of Their Own: Young Women, Courtship, and the Night in Early Modern England Eleanor Hubbard 15. In Search of a 'remedy': Young Women, Their Intimate Partners, and the Challenge of Fertility in Early Modern France Julie Hardwick Supplementary Bibliography of Secondary Works

Reviews and Features

"This engaging collection successfully problematizes and confounds simplistic assumptions regarding the early phases of female existence in early modern Western society. (...) The Youth of Early Modern Women provides a wide range of thought-provoking essays that will, one hopes, inspire similarly creative and innovative research in this field."
- Alison Williams Lewin, Renaissance Quarterly, Volume LXXIII, No. 2

Elizabeth Storr Cohen, Margaret Louise Reeves (eds)

The Youth of Early Modern Women

Through fifteen essays that work from a rich array of primary sources, this collection makes the novel claim that early modern European women, like men, had a youth. European culture recognised that, between childhood and full adulthood, early modern women experienced distinctive physiological, social, and psychological transformations. Drawing on two mutually shaped layers of inquiry — cultural constructions of youth and lived experiences — these essays exploit a wide variety of sources, including literary and autobiographical works, conduct literature, judicial and asylum records, drawings, and material culture. The geographical and temporal ranges traverse England, Ireland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, and Mexico from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. This volume brings fresh attention to representations of female youth, their own life writings, young women’s training for adulthood, courtship, and the emergent sexual lives of young unmarried women.

Elizabeth Storr Cohen

Elizabeth S. Cohen is Professor emerita of History at York University in Toronto. Based on research in the criminal court records of early modern Rome, her articles explore themes of women, work, family, youth, artists, prostitution, crime, street rituals, self-representation, and oralities. With Thomas V. Cohen, she has co-authored Words and Deeds in Renaissance Rome Trials Before the Papal Magistrates (University of Toronto Press, 1993) and Daily Life in Renaissance Italy, 2nd edition (ABC-Clio, 2019). With Margaret Reeves, she has co-edited The Youth of Early Modern Women (Amsterdam University Press, 2018).

Margaret Louise Reeves

Margaret Reeves teaches English literature at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. She co-edited Shell Games: Studies in Scams, Frauds, and Deceits (1300-1650), co-authored a history of the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies, and has published essays on literary history as well as early modern women's writing.