Women in Italy, 1350-1650 Ideals and Realities - A Sourcebook

ISBN-10: 0719072093
ISBN-13: 9780719072093
Edition: 2006
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Description: This Enlightening Book aims to fill the gap in the literature on women's lives from the mid-fourteenth to the mid-seventeenth century, a time in which Italian urban societies saw much debate on the nature of women and on their roles, education and  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 1/14/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.496
Language: English

This Enlightening Book aims to fill the gap in the literature on women's lives from the mid-fourteenth to the mid-seventeenth century, a time in which Italian urban societies saw much debate on the nature of women and on their roles, education and behaviour. Indeed these were debates which would in subsequent years resonate throughout Europe as a whole.

List of plates
Acknowledgements
Frequently cited sources
Introduction
Ideals
Woman's nature and characteristics
The case against women
Theological arguments
Biological arguments
Biology to social psychology: woman's temperament and characteristics
From description to prescription: notions of womanly virtues
The discourse of beauty and love
The nature and value of woman's beauty
Beauty and classical echoes
Beauty and vernacular poetry
Questioning and reversing poetic ideals of beauty
The diffusion of poetic ideals of beauty
Ideal love
The Virgin Mary
Women approaching Mary as woman and exemplar
Public cults
Private devotions
Female saints
Cults, prayers, stories
Female saints and female devotion
Renaissance saints and holy women
Famous and exemplary women
Goddesses
Old Testament heroines
Famous women among the ancients
Anti-heroines and their vices
Famous women and Renaissance women
Life cycles
Girls
The birth of a daughter
Upbringing
Appearance and dress
Education
Social behaviour and pastimes
Poor girls
Betrothals and weddings
Choosing a husband/Choosing a wife
The betrothal
Dowries, gifts and commemorative art
The wedding and wedding festivities
Marriage and married life
The justification for marriage
Conduct and behaviour in marriage: the marriage treatise
Conduct and behaviour in marriage: two churchmen's views
Outward appearance
Domestic spaces and furnishings
Running a household
The life of married women
Preparing for death
Unhappy marriages
Conception, childbirth and the upbringing of children
Conception
Pregnancy
Childbirth
Festivities after the birth of a child
Death in childbirth
Bringing up children
Widows
Exemplary widows; widowhood in general
Alternative widowhoods
The aftermath of bereavement
Coping alone: financial and practical matters
Bringing up children
Remarriage
Influential widows
Widows dispose of their estates
Piety and charitable activities
Roles
Nuns and women in religion
Entering a convent: procedures, motivations, personnel
The monastic way of life: ideals and practices
Problems and abuses
The physical environment of nuns; their use of artefacts
Nuns' social contacts and cultural roles
The Third Orders and other non-enclosed religious groupings
The court lady
The court lady as an ideal
The court lady
The donna di corte or lady-in-waiting
The roles of a ruler's wife
Luxury at court
Relaxation and pastimes
Mistresses and concubines
Women and work for gain
Women in the marketplace
Textile workers
Servants and slaves
Wet-nurses
Hospital staff
Prostitutes and courtesans
Prostitutes in city spaces
Different methods and behaviour
The successful courtesan
Courtesans speak
Negative views of courtesans
Attempts at reform
Writers, artists, musicians and performers
Backgrounds, settings, training, mentors
Positive critical reactions
Negative reactions: issues of decorum
Self-presentation and justification
The plates
Index

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