Women's History
Book Reviews


The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500-1800
by Olwen Hufton, Vintage Books, 1995.

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Hufton's lively text gives us ordinary details and important insights into womens lives as wife, widow, "spinster," mistress, accused witch, prostitute, writer and religious in these formative early modern years. I found her exploration into the interaction between actual practice and beliefs about what was appropriate to women, women's public protests, and the final assessment of changes over time to be particularly illuminating.

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