Women's Roles in the Renaissance
For the first time, a content-rich survey on Renaissance women for students and the general public is available. The story of the Renaissance has usually been told from the elite male perspective. Here, the lives of women and girls from a wide range of classes, religions, and countries in Europe take center stage. Women had a significant impact on the economy, social structures, and the culture of the Renaissance, despite the constraints on their exercise of power, lack of opportunities, enforced dependence, and exclusion from politics, government, science, law, banking, and more. Women's Roles in the Renaissance examines the attitudes and practices that shaped the varied roles of women then, but also the important ways women shaped the world in which they lived. The focus is on both the ideas that circulated about women and on the difference between representations of them and their everyday life experiences.
The narrative draws from a wide variety of sources on every aspect of women's lives. Narrative topical chapters cover women and education, the law, work, politics, religion, literature, the arts, and pleasures. Numerous women are profiled, and a plethora of quotations and examples of their work provides a sense of their spirit. Many period illustrations are included that highlight the text. This will prove to be a most valuable one-volume resource on a high-interest topic.
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And every girl , regardless of her social situation , was educated in domestic skills
— something that set girls apart from boys . Any person of the era who wrote
about education stressed that girls were to be instructed very differently from boys
that girls who studied holy works in the ancient languages would become
sexually promiscuous . The Mishnah ( the collection of Jewish law and
commentary ) quoted the revered Rabbi Eliezer as saying , " Everyone who
teaches his daughter ...
that many — perhaps most — girls from aristocratic families would have access to
education up to a point ( though they could not , of course , go to a university ,
which elite boys typically attended from about the age of 14 ) . Indeed , one
It suggests that the education of but a single woman within a family might have an
ongoing and growing influence on girls ' learning , as women tended to pass
along that tradition of education to their daughters and granddaughters .
He argued that all children should be educated , " boys and girls , both noble and
ignoble , rich and poor , in all cities and towns , villages and hamlets . " 20 He
argued that since all human beings are rational creatures , and there is no way to