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The family in the Western world from the Black Death to the industrial age

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Oxford University Press,
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Although the history of the family was long ignored by serious scholars, research has flourished in recent decades, and this new field of study has told us much more than we knew even thirty years ago. In the process, many myths about what life was like two or three centuries ago have been debunked. For example, contrary to popular belief, we now know that most women in the preindustrial West did not marry before they were twenty-five. Most households consisted of no more than four or five people, usually including unrelated young people working as servants. And perhaps most surprising of all, multi-generational households were not very common. This timely synthesis of a vast and complex literature makes accessible to general readers the story of the family in the preindustrial Western world. Pulling together much fascinating information, Beatrice Gottlieb presents every aspect of a rich subject with clarity and fairness. Her generously illustrated book deals with the households of the wealthy and the poor, courtship and marriage, the care and training of children, and the bonds (and strains) of kinship. The matter of inheritance receives special attention, as it played a substantial role in a world permeated by rank and status, and its importance gave the family a peculiar social and economic significance. The book also deals with ideas about the family and the values it embodied. As Gottlieb says, "What you and I usually mean when we say 'family' is something that comes to us from the nineteenth century, not from time immemorial." She makes the point that the so-called traditional world before the Industrial Revolution was awash in traditions that collided with each other. Marriage, for example, appeared to many as natural and inevitable, to others as burdensome and repellant. And while both medical and religious authorities always strongly advised mothers to nurse their children, upper-class women almost never did, instead using lower-class wet nurses. The famous people and events of history make brief walk-on appearances in this book: Henry VIII's divorce, Louis XIV's mistresses, Benjamin Franklin's apprenticeship to his brother, Mary Wollstonecraft's death in childbirth. But the author's emphasis is on the more ordinary people, whose everyday lives strike a responsive chord in all of us. This remarkable, eminently readable work brings to vivid life the wives and husbands, servants and masters, children and parents of a not too distant past.
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Grouped Work ID 94006888-0bd1-018c-53f1-371f9fb74dfe
full_title family in the western world from the black death to the industrial age
author gottlieb beatrice
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2016-12-14 05:07:25AM

Solr Details

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author Gottlieb, Beatrice, 1925-
author-letter Gottlieb, Beatrice,
author_additional Beatrice Gottlieb.
author_display Gottlieb, Beatrice
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oclc CBN2684, CCH0368, ocm24911713
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
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physical x, 309 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
popularity 3
primary_isbn 9780195073447
publishDate 1993
publishDateSort 1993
publisher Oxford University Press,
rating 2.5
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record_details ils:.b13190805|Book|Books||English|Oxford University Press,|1993.|x, 309 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
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subject_facet Civilization, Western -- History, Families -- History
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The family in the Western world from the Black Death to the industrial age
title_display The family in the Western world from the Black Death to the industrial age
title_full The family in the Western world from the Black Death to the industrial age / Beatrice Gottlieb
title_short The family in the Western world from the Black Death to the industrial age
title_sort family in the western world from the black death to the industrial age