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Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-century Lives Hardcover – 1 Nov 1995

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Second Printing edition (1 Nov. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067495520X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674955202
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 668,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Davis's finely wrought book works as a triptych; each life is closely observed, but thrown into relief by its relation to the others.--Ben Rogers "Guardian "

About the Author

Natalie Zemon Davis is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, Emerita, Princeton University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Joan Grant on 18 May 2014
Format: Paperback
Three fascinating women rescured from obscurity by eminent historian Natalie Zemon Davis. This does not do justice to the autobiography of Glickl of Hamlyn's which even in translation fizzes with energy. A remarkable women indeed. Likewise Maria Sibylla Merion. She went to Surinam to paint insects. Not my thing either but it was good to see more of what she was about in Prof Amanda Vickery' "The Story of Women and Art" on BBC2 in May 2014.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Three fascinating lives 18 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Davis takes the reader deep into the lives of three quite different European women of the 1600s, showing how they courageously face family and career challenges. Each story is amazing. Catholic widow Marie Guyart goes to the wilderness of Canada to help found the Quebec branch of the Ursuline teaching order. Jewish mother of 14 children, Glikl von Hameln is a successful business woman, both as her husband's chief assistant and as a widow. Divorced Protestant Maria Merian supports herself and her daughters through her engravings based on her own ecological observations of caterpillars native to Europe and northern South America. I particularly enjoyed learning about Merian because I have been impressed by her elegant work which I have seen in a number of museums including the National Museum of Woman in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful, Well-Written, and Engaging Read 2 Aug. 2014
By Kristin Bell - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for a course on Medieval Women, and I'm so glad I did! The book is well-written, engaging, and compels you to read further. Even people who might not know much about history would probably also enjoy this book. I love to read history through the lives of real people, and I felt that the author's choice of these three women was excellent. You get quite a vivid picture of what these women's lives were like. If you are at all interested in women's lives in Europe in the 17th century, then you should check out this book. Even if you tend to think that anything before the 20th century is boring, you might want to try this book out and see how interesting the pre-modern world can be.
Excellent research and compelling life stories 29 July 2013
By Martie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fantstic. I was looking specifically for Maria Sybilla Merian because she had joined the Labadists colony and I was hoping to find names and connections to my ancestors who were also in this Labadist colony. But I ended up reading about all three women. Natalie Zemon Davis does an excellent job of creating a narrative and makes their lives so transparent. Her research and documentation of the informastion she finds is the best I've yet found in any of my readings. Her bibliography is impressive. The three women she chooses to highlight are compelling historically relative figures in their own right even though women back then had limited opportunities. These three women find a way to carve out an imporant roll in life and leave a legacy that is difficult to overlook. Kudos to the author for this book. I'm glad I found it.
Four Stars 27 Aug. 2014
By Pen Name - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good resource. A bit tedious at certain points, but overall is informative and well done
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Women's studies 12 Jun. 2012
By Big Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. I was so pleased to be able to buy it online through I like how the author gives you a clear perspective on the lives of the women she reviews.
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