17th Century Marriage Bibliography July 1996

Query From Mary-Margaret Bowles mbowles@woods.smwc.edu 01 July 1996

I am currently working on a paper related to 17th century marriage and courtship in England and how these attitudes are reflected in the literature of the time. I am having some difficulty locating appropriate sources. I have looked in the library, at a 17th century web site(it mainly focused on drama rather than history), and in the Journal of Family History. I have found one helpful book by Lawrence Stone which covers some material relating to marriage in the 17th century. I am most interested in current research as well as any classic works pertaining to this topic. I am not interested in birth or fertility rates; I plan to focus the paper on the rules governing courtship and marriage as well as any exceptions to the standard practices. In short, I would like to learn what a 17th century English woman's life immediately preceding marriage and after marriage would be like. I plan to apply this information to literature by Aphra Behn, Mary Astell, among others. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!!!


Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside

Editors, et al The Birthday of My Self: Martha Moulsworth, Renaissance Poet (recent pub. date/Princeton)

Erickson, Amy Louise "Common Law Versus Common Practice: The Use of Marriage Settlements in Early Modern England" Economic History Review XLIII 1(1990), 21-39

Fraser, Antonia The Weaker Vessel (London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1984) good biblio

Hanawalt, Barbara The Ties That Bound

Herlihy, David Medieval Households

Houlbrooke, Ralph English Family Life, 1576-1716

Hull, Suzanne Women According to Men: The World of Tudor-Stuart Women (AltaMira Press)

Ingram, Martin Church Courts, Sex and Marriage in England 1570-1640

Lerner, Gerda The Creation of Feminist Consciousness (Oxford, 1993)..also excellent bibliography by chronological period.

Lewalski, Barbara Writing Women in Jacobean England (Harvard)

MacFarlane, Alan The Family Life of Ralph Josselin

Moulsworth, Martha "Memorandum"(1632) poem/autobiographical

Spring. Eileen Law, Land and Family: Aristocratic Inheritance in England, 1300-1800

(Chapel Hill and London: Univ of North Carolina Press,1993)

A Caution: Read reviews of Stone's book...some of his analyses have been seriously challenged.

Other Sources:

The Bachelor's Banquet (1603; reprint 1993) n.a. translation/imitation of Les Quinze Joies de Mariage

Critical Matrix: The Princeton Journal of Women, Gender, and Culture Contact: matrix@princeton.edu
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