Gender, Law and Economic well-being in Europe from the fifteenth to the nineteenth Cy. North versus South ?


This book offers a comparative perspective on Northern and Southern European

laws and customs concerning women’s property and economic rights. By focusing

on both Northern and Southern European societies, these studies analyse the

consequences of different juridical frameworks and norms on the development of

the economic roles of men and women.

This volume is divided into three parts. The first, Laws, presents general outlines

related to some European regions; the second, Family strategies or marital

economies?, questions the potential conflict between the economic interests of

the married couple and those of the lineage within the nobility; finally, the third

part of the book, Inside the urban economy, focuses on economic and work activities

of the middle and lower classes in the urban environment. The assorted and

rich panorama offered by the history of the legislation on women’s economic

rights shows that similarities and differences run through Europe in such a way

that the North/South model looks very stereotyped. While this approach calls

into question classical geographical and cultural maps and well-established chronologies,

it encourages a reconsideration of European history according to a

cross-boundaries perspective.

By drawing on a wide range of social, economic and cultural European contexts,

from the late medieval to early modern age to the nineteenth century, and

including the middle and lower classes (especially artisans, merchants and traders)

as well as the economic practices and norms of the upper middle class and

aristocracy, this book will be of interest to economic and social historians, sociologists

of health, gender and sexuality, and economists.

Anna Bellavitis and Beatrice Zucca Micheletto, Routledge, 2018

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