Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What was I Thinking?

What was I thinking?  I thought that I would only be away from LOV for a few weeks...but that has turned into over two months!  I miss you Ladies!

Can someone tell me how summer time can be more busy than the routine of the schoolyear?  I am taking summer college classes full time this summer, that is keeping me busy.  But I am making time to catch some sunshine in the swimming pool with the girls and to lick plenty of icecream! 

The last time I wrote I had just been preparing for a presentation on the Tudor-Stuart female...then I was heading off to London and Paris!  Thought that I would  show you some pictures.

This is me dressed for the presentation.
I felt like Queen Elizabeth for a moment.

This is some food-faire that I made from Olde English recipes.
It was surprising to me to learn
how many various spices went into their baked goods. 
The crackers below had allspice and nutmeg.

Yes, everything in this salad is edible!  Isn't it beautiful?

If you look at the derriere, you will notice the emphasis. 
Also, the wide expanse of hips was to emulate fertility of the female.  

 The Reformation that grabbu Martin Luthed ahold in western Europe
set the premise for a new way of thinking about the autonomy
of the individual.  Thank you Martin Luther.
This is a short excerpt from my paper, "The Female of EarlyModern England." 
Read and see if you recognize her in today's world.

. . . "The Virtuous Woman"

Above all things a female was to pursue virtue of character. The biblical precepts quoted in the marriage service and in the Homily were expanded into books for exhorting the behavior and etiquette of women. Authors such as Thomas Becon followed the teachings of St. Peter and St. Paul is stressing the subjection of wives to husbands. . . Gouge emphasized that the wife was “joint governor with her husband” over their children and servants, but she was to be subordinate to the husband and ruled others only as long as she was in submission to him (Eales 25).

The ideals for female behavior as purported in the advice books were passive: chastity, modesty, humility, sweetness simplicity, peaceableness, kindness, piety, temperance, beauty, sometimes learning, and always patience, charity, constancy, and obedience. “Between 1475 and 1640 approximately 170 different books in some 500 editions were specifically addressed to emales or dealt with subjects of direct concern to women, such as midwery, household recipes, and how-to-live guides (Hull 24).

And in conclusion . . .
 Some historians argue, understandably, that in the Early Modern Era, English females were (I repeat again) “mere housewives, secluded in their homes to protect their reputations for chastity, their sole useful function the production of heirs for their husbands’ family lineages” (Fairchild 3).  I argue that this thought is too narrow.  There were housewives who made a sustainable influence with their husbands, mothers who influenced their families, influenced their communities, influenced their country.  Whether housewife or reigning monarch, women were not “silent” in a society that sought not the voice of women.  Commanded to be submissive; yes, confined to strict boundaries of law and deportment; yes, pressed and thwarted in their life circumstance; perhaps, but suppsressed to the point of non-expression; no. The female of Early Modern England speaks in the voice of that culture, and thus she still speaks to us today. 
What are your thoughts?


 To find the recipe for the crackers above and other tasty Olde English food go to-

Eales, Jacqueline. Women in early Modern England: 1500-1700. London, UCL Press. 1998.
Fairchilds, Cissie. Women in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700. Harlow, England: Pearson Education, 2007.
Hull, Suzanne W. Women According to Men: The World of Tudor-Stuart Women. London, UK: AltaMira Press, 1996.

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