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