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Women, Property, and the Letters of the Law in Early Modern England examines the competing narratives of property told by and about women in the early modern period. Through letters, legal treatises, case law, wills, and works of literature, the contributors explore women's complex roles as subjects and agents in commercial and domestic economies, and as objects shaped by a network of social and legal relationships. By constructing conversations across the disciplinary boundaries of legal and social history, sociology and literary criticism, the collection explores a diverse range of women's property relationships.
Recent research has revealed fissures in our knowledge about women's property relationships within a regime characterized by competing jurisdictions, diverse systems of tenure, and multiple concepts of property. Women, Property, and the Letters of the Law in Early Modern England turns to these points of departure for the study of women's legal status and property relationships in the early modern period. This interdisciplinary analysis of women and property is written in an accessible manner and will become a valuable resource for scholars and students of Renaissance, Restoration and eighteenth-century literature, early modern social and legal history, and women's studies.
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A.R. Buck teaches in the Division of Law at Macquarie University.Margaret W. Ferguson teaches in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. Nancy E. Wright is the director of the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Property Rights at the University of Newcastle. Review:
..."Erickson tells us much about the lives of women among small property owners."
-"Law and History Review
"This is a significant and very good book. ... In the range of sources used, and in the depth of analysis, Erickson has made an important contribution to our understanding of the position of women in the early modern period. She offers far more precision about women's relation to wealth and property than has been heretofore available...Her work should change the nature of our understanding of marriage, property, and the economy. This is no small accomplishment; it is one that will earn Erickson the gratitude of historians for many years to come."
..."Erickson's is the fresher, more exciting and substantial book: it provides more new knowledge from original and extensive archival research; it turns its attention to those women about whom we know least, the ordinary and the unmarried; and it offers subtler analyses."
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