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Blood and Violence in Early Modern France$
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Stuart Carroll

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290451

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290451.001.0001

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Women, Sex, and Vindicatory Violence

Women, Sex, and Vindicatory Violence

(p.234) 10 Women, Sex, and Vindicatory Violence
Blood and Violence in Early Modern France

Stuart Carroll (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In early modern France, the origins of laws controlling marriage and sexuality were formulated in contingent political contexts whose implications for state building are ambiguous. Moreover, royal edicts themselves could only influence behaviour so far. In practice, affective relationships between the sexes and the generations continued to be shaped largely by customary law and kinship solidarities. Family breakdown was a pressing problem for early modern people, leading to violence, political disorder, and feuds that had to be faced with inadequate resources. Finally, patriarchy, like all hierarchical relationships, brought with it duties and responsibilities, as well as power. This chapter discusses the politics of marriage in early modern France, along with vindicatory violence arising from elopement and abduction of women, women's role in the dispute process, women's weapons for revenge, and duelling as a display of sexual prowess and avenging of a woman's honour.

Keywords:   France, vindicatory violence, women, patriarchy, marriage, sexuality, abduction, revenge, duelling, honour

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