Women and the Land, 1500–1900

RHN 134/2019 | Publication

Amanda L. Capern, Briony McDonagh, Jennifer Aston (eds.), Women and the Land, 15001900 (People, Markets, Goods: Economies and Societies in History), Woodbridge: Boydell Press 2019.


Women and the Land examines the pre-history of gendered property relations in England, focusing on the four-hundred-year period between roughly 1500 and 1900. More specifically, the book is about how gender shaped opportunities for and experiences of owning property, particularly for women. The focus is especially on land, residential buildings and commercial property, but livestock, common and personal property also feature. This project is driven by an explicitly feminist agenda: the contributors directly challenge the idea that the existence of patriarchal property relations – including the doctrine of coverture and gendered inheritance practices – meant that property was concentrated in exclusively male hands. Here a very different story is told: of significant levels of female landownership and how women's desire to own property and manage its profits led to emotional attachments to land and a willingness and determination to fight for the right to legal title. Altogether, the chapters in this volume offer new histories of land and property which hold women's lives as their centre. Presenting the very latest qualitative and quantitative research on women's landownership, the book will be of interest to those working in social, economic and cultural history, historical and cultural geography, women's studies, gender studies and landscape studies.


Source: Boydell & Brewer