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The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500-1800 [Hardcover]

Olwen Hufton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1996 Prospect Before Her: a History of Women in Western Europe
Already hailed by English critics as "one of the most important works of history to be published since the Second World War, " Olwen Hufton's fascinating and brilliantly learned study begins, in this first of two volumes, with a wide ranging exploration of women's fate in Western Europe from medieval times to the early modern age. of illustrations.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679450300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679450306
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 16.9 x 5.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,778,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A huge subject in an easy to read format 31 May 1999
By A Customer
The period 1500 - 1800 is marked with great social and political upheaval. Olwen Hufton has taken on a monumental task in trying to show, not only the various types of women within this period (rural, urban, old, young, wives, widows, spinsters) but also how their lives changed as society and politics changed (renaissance, industrial revolution, religous oppression). The result is an easy to read and entertaining book that gives a general picture of the women of Western Europe (using various surveys and censuses) as well as concentrating on specific areas to give a human face to the statistics (personal accounts, diaries). The extensive notes and bibliography make it usuful for those who wish to study more about this period.
An informative and entertaining read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A huge subject in an easy to read format 31 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The period 1500 - 1800 is marked with great social and political upheaval. Olwen Hufton has taken on a monumental task in trying to show, not only the various types of women within this period (rural, urban, old, young, wives, widows, spinsters) but also how their lives changed as society and politics changed (renaissance, industrial revolution, religous oppression). The result is an easy to read and entertaining book that gives a general picture of the women of Western Europe (using various surveys and censuses) as well as concentrating on specific areas to give a human face to the statistics (personal accounts, diaries). The extensive notes and bibliography make it usuful for those who wish to study more about this period.
An informative and entertaining read
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of the lives of women in the past 11 Jan 2001
By Lesley West - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you want to thank your lucky stars for the things that are available to us in modern times, read this book. It is an excellent scholarly overview of the lives and times in the period it covers, but as well it is a fascinating book for anyone who enjoys reading about times past.
Each chapter addresses an area that was of interest to women of the times, and remain of interest today - health, cooking etc, and they are so complete in addressing the issues that they read like small essays on their own.
This is a really enjoyable book, and not just for its scholarly value.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent view of history 4 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A history course in a University should be created around this book! So might insightful information about the day-to-day existence of people during this period in history. An incredible amount of information is provided in an easy-to-read format by the author. A must read for anyone interested in the histoy of women throughout the ages.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bruising but uplifting set of great-great-great grandmothers' real tales 16 Jan 2008
By Brian Griffith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a very down-to-earth collection of studies that convey the state of women's lives in a grinding age of uphill struggle. The accounts start in a setting of religious war, famine, plague, witch hunts, and economic upheavals that make the 1930s Great Depression look gentle. We are introduced to real women from these centuries telling their stories with candor. There are thread-spinning "spinsters" who lose their jobs en masse, Catholic nuns breaking out of cloisters for vocations beyond chastity, and Protestant wives doing likewise with less institutional support. Hufton's contributors trace the mainly volunteer-driven rise of education by and for females. They portray Europe's ancient caste-like divisions of roles or virtues for men and for women, shifting at roughly the speed of a melting glacier. From seeing initiative by females as the original source of evil, society begins to trust tapping women's potential for innovation.

--author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous History 30 April 2013
By TR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not for the faint of heart, but it really opens your eyes as to what the condition of women was during this period. The author deals with women across the entire spectrum of society, and divides the periods of a woman's life according to the events that would have shaped her destiny the most. It would be perfect for graduate or doctoral students, or writers seeking to gain broad knowledge of a certain period. Highly recommended.
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