Women, Work and Sociability in Early Mod
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This is the first work to explore how women from the middling sorts and the labouring poor fashioned identities as honest individuals of good repute. Using depositions, interrogations and trial reports from the London church courts, the Bridewell hospital and the Old Bailey, alongside ballads, jest-books, pamphlets and plays, this book outlines how women's working roles as mothers, housewives, servants, domestic managers and retailers, as well as their social interactions with their fellow Londoners, shaped their reputations in a growing metropolis which was to become the largest city in Europe by 1700. By paying equal attention to both paid and unpaid forms of work, and by covering the whole of the seventeenth century rather than solely the decades before 1640 or after 1660, this book provides the most holistic study to date of early modern notions of female honesty, credit and worth.