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Desperate Housewives: Politics, Propriety and Pornography, Three Centuries of Women in England
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Desperate Housewives: Politics, Propriety and Pornography, Three Centuries of Women in England (Hardback)

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"Desperate Housewives: Politics, Propriety and Pornography, Three Centuries of Women in England", is an important edition that will make a significant impact upon the study of gender history. Encompassing both historical and English literary perspectives, the collection of essays challenge traditional notions of female experience as tied to the 'domestic sphere' and explores areas where women had potential for upholding, working within, or subverting patriarchal authority. Split into three sections - politics, propriety and pornography - the essays work to place women in varied and often neglected sectors of life. Drawing on a diverse range of sources, including state papers, plays, poems, medical books, advice literature and erotica, this collection of essays explore the different identities of early modern women. The women of the Elizabethan royal court, the politicised women of the civil wars, the patrons of the 'Bluestocking Circle', shrewish, aggressive and cross-dressing women, and the lustful, lascivious and sexualised women of men's imaginations are each examined here and revealed to the academic and non-specialist reader.

Spanning the period century 1550-1829, Desperate Housewives will be essential reading for anyone interested in women's history, the history of masculinity and gender history, as well as British social and cultural history more broadly. Designed for students, academics and non-specialists alike, the essays in this collection open up the experiences of early modern women to the modern reader.

Jennifer Jordan is an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. She has published articles in Cultural and Social History (2007) and The Transactions of the Thoroton Society (2006). She is currently writing articles on boyhood and manliness, the male body, and concepts of manhood and manliness in early modern England.

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