When Dad Died: Individuals and Families Coping with Family Stress in Past Societies

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9780820456478: When Dad Died: Individuals and Families Coping with Family Stress in Past Societies
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Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., New York, Oxford, Wien. This volume is an important contribution to the social and cultural history of the family and documents that widowhood and orphanhood were commonplace before the twentieth century. How did the survivors cope with such tragedy? What kind of support did they receive from their community and relatives? How many widows remarried? How many children grew up as step-children or wards? And how did these circumstances influence their futures? While individual stories are frequent themes in literature, the social history of these experiences has yet to be written, especially from a comparative perspective. The 16 essays in this book provide a fresh look at the family history of widowhood and orphanhood in a dozen European and Asian countries.

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About the Author:

Volker Durr is Professor of German and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, where he was Chair of the Department of German and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Comparative Literature. He earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature at Princeton University. He has published widely on literature from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, focusing on the interaction of literature, art, history, and philosophy. Durr is the author of Flaubert's Salammbo: The Ancient Orient as a Political Allegory of Nineteenth-Century France (2003), the editor of Versuche zu Goethe (1976) and Imperial Germany (1985), Nietzsche: Literature and Values (1988), and coeditor of Coping with the Past (1990).

Review:

«The strength of this book lies in its convincing effort to measure the efficiency of different family systems in the protection of their weaker members in crisis situations. As such, it is a major contribution to both social and family history.» (Jan Kok, International Review of Social History)
«The editors and authors have done a very good job in their efforts to clarify and illustrate what is intentionally a very big field. The example chapters are packed with data and analysis of the highest quality, material which readers will find of considerable interest and which is likely to prove stimulating to a wide range of researchers in historical sociology and demography. [...] this is a highly stimulating volume; its editors and contributors are to be congratulated.» (Robert Woods, Population Studies)

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