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Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy

Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, a brilliant historian of the Annales school, skillfully uncovers the lives of ordinary Italians of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Tuscans in particular, young and old, rich, middle-class, and poor. From the extraordinarily detailed records kept by Florentine tax collectors and the equally precise ricordanze (household accounts with notations of events great and small), Klapisch-Zuber draws a living picture of the Tuscan household. We learn, for example, how children were named, how wet nurses were engaged, how marriages were negotiated and celebrated. A wealth of other sources are tapped—including city statutes, private letters, philosophical works on marriage, paintings—to determine the social status of women. Klapisch-Zuber reveals how women, in their roles as daughters, wives, sisters, and mothers, were largely subject to a family system that needed them but valued them little.

354 pages | 11 halftones | 5.875 x 9 | © 1985

Gender and Sexuality

History: European History

Sociology: Sociology--Marriage and Family

Women's Studies

Table of Contents

Foreword by David Herlihy
1. State and Family in a Renaissance Society: The Florentine Catasto of 1427-30
2. Demographic Decline and Household Structure: The Example of Prato, Late Fourteenth to Late Fifteenth Centuries
3. "A une pane e uno vino": The Rural Tuscan Family at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century (with Michel Demonet)
4. Kin, Friends, and Neighbors: The Urban Territory of a Merchant Family in 1400
5. Childhood in Tuscany at the Beginning of the Fifteenth Century
6. The "Cruel Mother": Maternity, Widowhood, and Dowry in Florence in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
7. Blood Parents and Milk Parents: Wet Nursing in Florence, 1300-1530
8. Female Celibacy and Service in Florence in the Fifteenth Century
9. Zacharias, or the Ousted Father: Nuptial Rites in Tuscany between Giotto and the Council of Trent
10. The Griselda Complex: Dowry and Marriage Gifts in the Quattrocento
11. An Ethnology of Marriage in the Age of Humanism
12. The "Mattinata" in Medieval Italy
13. The Name "Remade": The Transmission of Given Names in Florence in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
14. Holy Dolls: Play and Piety in Florence in the Quattrocento

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