Weep Not for Me: Women, Ballads, and Infanticide in Early Modern Scotland

4 avg rating
( 3 ratings by Goodreads )
9780271016160: Weep Not for Me: Women, Ballads, and Infanticide in Early Modern Scotland
View all copies of this ISBN edition:

Ballad singing has long been one of the most powerful expressions of Scottish culture. For hundreds of years, women in Scotland have sung of heroines who are strong, arrogant, canny—the very opposite of the bourgeois stereotype of the good, maternal woman. In Weep Not for Me, Deborah Symonds explores the social world that gave rise to both the popular ballad heroine and her maternal counterpart. The setting is the Scottish countryside in the eighteenth century—a crucial period in Scotland's history, for it witnessed the country's union with England, the Enlightenment, and the flowering of letters. But there were also great economic changes as late-feudal Scotland hurried into capitalist agriculture and textile production. Ballad singing reflected many of these developments. In the ballads, marriage is rare and lovers murder each other, haunted by premarital pregnancy, incest, and infanticide, while relatives argue over dowries. These problems were not fiction. The women in this study lived and died in a period when hopes of marriage and landholding were replaced by the reality of wage labor and disintegrating households.

Using these ballads, together with court records of women tried for infanticide, Symonds makes fascinating points about the shifting meaning of womanhood in the eighteenth century, the roles of politically astute lawyers in that shift, and the significance of ballad singing as a response. She also discusses the political implications of Walter Scott's infanticide novel, The Heart of Mid-Lothian, for women and for the ballad heroine. While some historians have argued that women's history has little to do with the watershed events of textbook history, Symonds convincingly shows us that the democratic and economic revolutions of the late eighteenth century were just as momentous for women as for men, even if their effects on women were quite different.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Deborah A. Symonds is Associate Professor of History at Drake University.


“This important and engaging book blends social, economic, literary, and cultural history into a penetrating and sympathetic portrait of the dangers of love and courtship in the lives of marginal working women engulfed by the flood of historical change. Beautifully written, Symonds’ narrative draws readers into a long-gone world, inviting them to recognize the lives and imaginations of eighteenth-century Scottish women as intrinsically interesting and strangely similar to the lives of many women today.”

—Elizabeth Fox-Genovese

“This is an authentically fresh work. It offers important new understanding of the meaning of female crime, especially infanticide, which remains poorly understood today. Brilliantly researched and beautifully written, it challenges historians of other places and periods to ask how the practice of infanticide has changed in response to social and economic dislocation—on the American frontier, for example.”

—Linda K. Kerber, University of Iowa

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 68.95
US$ 21.50

Convert currency

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.

Destination, rates & speeds

Add to Basket

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780271024981: Weep Not for Me: Women, Ballads, and Infanticide in Early Modern Scotland

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0271024984 ISBN 13:  9780271024981
Publisher: Penn State University Press, 2004

9780271016177: Weep Not for Me: Women, Ballads, and Infanticide in Early Modern Scotland

Pennsy..., 1997

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace


Symonds, Deborah A.
Published by Pennsylvania State University Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 0271016167 ISBN 13: 9780271016160
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 3
Boston Book Warehouse
(Spring Hope, NC, U.S.A.)

Book Description Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997. Hardcover. Condition: New. No Jacket. 1st Edition... New/Unused/Unmarked/Unread from the Publisher. No Dust Jackets Issued/Dark Red Binding. Not a Remainder, Return, or Previously Owned. U.S. Domestic Tracking/Confirmation Included. Via USPS, Will Ship International, APO/FPO/DPO, PO Boxes, all US 50 States/Territories, Priority and please inquire for Express. All orders are packed carefully/securely, with packing materials to help with quality control, so you may receive your order as described or better, and shipped directly from our facility to provide fast/personal service. We do our best to ship before expected shipping date and provide honest descriptions. [Note: Residential/Office Deliveries- Please give details on your order how you would like your package left so we may help prevent loss. Once USPS confirms delivery, we are no longer responsible for the item.] Please contact us anytime for assistance. Thank you for your business! *Please refer to our Store-Front for Return/Shipping Policy.* [Product Details: Hardcover Format/ Penn State Univ. Press, 1997/ *1.9 lbs/ ISBN-10: 0271016167/1T-4Dn-BR]. Seller Inventory # ABE-147030780

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 21.50
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds