The Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe is a comprehensive and ground-breaking survey of the lives of women in early-modern Europe between 1450 and 1750. Covering a period of dramatic political and cultural change, the book challenges the current contours and chronologies of European history by observing them through the lens of female experience. The collaborative research of this book covers four themes: the affective world; practical knowledge for life; politics and religion; arts, science and humanities. These themes are interwoven through the chapters, which encompass all areas of women’s lives: sexuality, emotions, health and wellbeing, educational attainment, litigation and the practical and leisured application of knowledge, skills and artistry from medicine to theology. The intellectual lives of women, through reading and writing, and their spirituality and engagement with the material world, are also explored. So too is the sheer energy of female work, including farming and manufacture, skilled craft and artwork, theatrical work and scientific enquiry.

The Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe revises the chronological and ideological parameters of early-modern European history by opening the reader’s eyes to an exciting age of female productivity, social engagement and political activism across European and transatlantic boundaries. It is essential reading for students and researchers of early-modern history, the history of women and gender studies.

chapter |26 pages


ByAmanda L. Capern

part I|2 pages

The Affective World

chapter 1|24 pages

Bodies, Sex and Sexuality

BySarah Toulalan

chapter 2|24 pages

Family, Kin and Friendship

ByLyndan Warner

chapter 3|20 pages

Love and Other Emotions

ByKatie Barclay

chapter 4|16 pages

Affective Responses to Illness And Death

ByOlivia Weisser

part II|2 pages

Practical Literacies

chapter 5|22 pages


Learning, literacy and domestic virtues
ByJuliane Jacobi

chapter 6|46 pages

Work in Countryside, Cities and Towns

ByJudith M. Spicksley

chapter 7|18 pages

Medical Knowledge 
and Practice

ByLeah Astbury, Elaine Leong

chapter 8|18 pages

Law, Property and Litigation

ByTim Stretton

part III|2 pages


chapter 9|19 pages

Queens and Courtiers

Authority, networks and patronage
ByElena Woodacre

chapter 10|25 pages

The Intellectual World of Catholic Piety

ByClaire Walker

chapter 11|24 pages

Protestant Theology, 
Spirituality and 

ByAmanda L. Capern

chapter 12|22 pages

Women’s Political Writing

Civil war memoirs
ByMihoko Suzuki

part IV|2 pages

Intellect and Materiality

chapter 13|24 pages

Materialising Women

Dynamic interactions of gender and materiality
BySusan Broomhall

chapter 14|22 pages

The Visual Arts

ByJulia Dabbs

chapter 15|29 pages

Theatre and performance

ByDaisy Black

chapter 16|18 pages

Science and Natural 

BySarah Hutton

chapter 17|23 pages

Literature and Letters

ByAmanda L. Capern