20 February 2018

BOOK: Anna BELLAVITIS & Beatrice ZUCCA MICHELETTO (eds.), Gender, Law and Economic Well-Being in Europe from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Century [Gender and Well-Being] (New York: Routledge, 2018), 336 p. ISBN 9781138571518, £ 115

(image source: Routledge)

Book abstract:

This book offers a comparative perspective on Northern and Southern Europe laws and customs concerning women’s property and economic rights. By focusing on both Northern and Southern European societies, these studies analyse the consequences of different juridical frameworks and norms on the development of the economic roles of men and women This volume is divided into three sections. The first, Laws, presents general outlines related to some European regions; the second, Family strategies or marital economies? questions the potential conflict between the economic interests of the married couple and those of the lineage within the nobility. Finally the third part of the book, Inside the urban economy, focuses on economic and work activities of middle and lower classes in the urban environment. The assorted and rich panorama offered by the history of the legislation on women’s economic rights shows that similarities and differences run through Europe in such a way that the North/South model looks very stereotyped. While this approach calls into question classical geographical and cultural maps and well-established chronologies, it encourages reconsidering the European history according to a cross-boundaries perspective. By drawing on a wide range of social, economic and cultural European contexts, from the late Medieval Age-Early Modern Age to the nineteenth century including the middle and lower classes (especially artisans, merchants and traders) as well as the economic practices and norms of the upper middle class and aristocracy, this book will be of interest to economic and social historians, sociologists of health, gender, sexuality and economists.

Table of contents:

List of Figures; List of Tables; List of contributors; Acknowledgements; 

INTRODUCTION: North vs South: gender, law and economic well-being in Europe (15th-19th centuries),; Anna Bellavitis, Beatrice Zucca Micheletto; 

Chapter 1. Community of goods, coverture and capability in Britain: Scotland v. England, Deborah Simonton;
Chapter 2. Between parental power and marital authority. How merchant women stood the test of the customary laws in Brittany (16th- 17th centuries), Nicole Dufournaud;
Chapter 3. Exceptional women. Female merchants and working women in Italy in the early modern period, Simona Feci;
Chapter 4. Married women’s property rights in the nineteenth century in France and Spain: a North-South case study, Marion Röwekamp; Chapter 5. From legal diversity to centralization: marriage and wealth in nineteenth-century Greece, Doxiadis Evdoxios; 

Chapter 6. Marriage, law and property – Married noblewomen’s role in property management in fifteenth-century Norway, Susann Anett Pedersen;
Chapter 7. Class privileges and the public good. The Monti dei Maritaggi in Early Modern Naples, Vittoria Fiorelli;
Chapter 8. Women of high and medium-ranking officers in the Ile-de-France between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: what economic agency?, Claire Chatelain;
Chapter 9. Undivided brothers – renouncing sisters. Family strategies of low nobility in sixteenth and seventeenth century Tirol, Siglinde Clementi; 

Chapter 10. The ‘egalitarian trend’ in practice. Female participation in capital markets in late medieval Leuven, Andrea Bardyn;
Chapter 11. Women and credit in eighteenth– century Venice: a preliminary analysis, Matteo Pompermaier;
Chapter 12. Married women, property and paraphernalia in Early Modern Scotland, Rebecca Mason;
Chapter 13. Women at work in a Southern European town: women, guilds and commercial partnerships in Venice in the sixteenth century, Emilie Fiorucci;
Chapter 14. Law, wives and the marital economy in sixteenth-century Antwerp. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, Kaat Cappelle;
Chapter 15. Women, law, and business formation in Early Modern Paris, Janine M. Lanza;
Chapter 16. Bankruptcies, a gateway to gender history. The example of women book traders in Paris in the nineteenth century, Viera Rebolledo-Dhuin; Index

On the editors:

Anna Bellavitis is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Rouen-Normandy, director of the Groupe de Recherche d’Histoire (GRHis EA3831) and Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. Beatrice Zucca Micheletto is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge and associated researcher at the Groupe de Recherche d’Histoire, University of Rouen-Normandy.

More information here.

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