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City WomenMoney, Sex, and the Social Order in Early Modern London$
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Eleanor Hubbard

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609345

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609345.001.0001

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Public Lives

Public Lives

(p.148) 5 Public Lives
City Women

Eleanor Hubbard

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses women's public lives within the neighborhood, paying particular attention to women's efforts to achieve and maintain high status in the eyes of their neighbors, and their roles in maintaining community stability by monitoring the treatment of women in childbed and intervening in troubled households to restore order and reconcile warring spouses. Reconciliation was nearly always privileged as a solution to marital troubles, whether these resulted from domestic violence or adultery. This chapter stresses the importance of neighborly sociability and drinking rituals, and the use of arbitration and mediation to resolve arguments. It examines some of the main causes of conflict within the neighborhood: women quarreled with one another over status, their husbands, their children, and when their efforts to repel the filth of the early modern city came into conflict.

Keywords:   neighborhood, childbirth, drinking, arbitration, social order, status disputes, early modern London, children, women

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