‘Seldom doth the husband thrive without leave of his wife’ – The Sixteenth Century Manor Wife

A slightly more succinct version of this post was published on Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots on 8 July 2019. Sixteenth century conduct manuals advised a man seeking a wife to consider everything from the woman’s age, appearance, health, obedience and piety, to her love of children, singing voice and ability to be silent. … Continue reading ‘Seldom doth the husband thrive without leave of his wife’ – The Sixteenth Century Manor Wife

‘The great daunger of childbyrth’

While not an absolute rarity, portraits of pregnant women were not common in the Renaissance period. Surprisingly, there are  a number of late Elizabethan and early Jacobean portraits of women at an advanced stage of pregnancy, sometimes surrounded by their children, sometimes alone. Many of these were painted by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. When I … Continue reading ‘The great daunger of childbyrth’

Early Modern Women – Margaret, Lady Hoby (1571-1633)

Margaret, Lady Hoby, is best known as the author of  the earliest known diary written by a woman in English. While her diary began as a religious exercise and includes details of her religious practices, prayer and reading, it is also a window through which we can glimpse the busy domestic life of a woman … Continue reading Early Modern Women – Margaret, Lady Hoby (1571-1633)

Early Modern Women – Elizabeth Paston (1429-1488)

I have been fascinated by the 15th and 16th centuries since I studied Early Modern British history in my first year at university. In my reading over the ensuing years I have caught sight of people who had no influence on the grand scheme of things yet they  brought history to life, reminding me vividly that … Continue reading Early Modern Women – Elizabeth Paston (1429-1488)