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Women of the Renaissance /

Main Author: King, Margaret L., 1947-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1991
Series: Women in culture and society
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Review by Choice Review

Building on her earlier work on humanist women, King has produced a more general survey of women in the Renaissance, focusing on women in the family, women in the church, and women in high culture. King includes material from 1350 to 1650 from all over Europe, although Italian and English examples are most common. One of the book's weaknesses is King's extrapolation from Italian examples. Another is lack of a strong chronological perspective; the work is perhaps more cultural anthropology than history, a sort of female counterpart to Jacob Burckhardt's Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1890). Despite these problems, King's book will be very useful for upper-division undergraduates or those starting research in the field because King has synthesized a great deal of material and provides nearly 40 pages of bibliography. Her writing is clear and elegant; the chapter on women and high culture is especially well done. The book requires some familiarity with European history, particularly in the section on religion, so it is not for beginning students. Recommended for all libraries with holdings in European or women's history.

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

King claims only to ``visit'' Renaissance women in their world, but she manages far more. She evaluates the evolution of Western European women's circumstances and their place in history. Although divided into three distinct chapters--Women in Families, Women in the Church, and finally Women in High Society--her narrative constantly correlates the status of the Renaissance woman to male society at large. She never allows the reader to lose sight of the larger historical picture, as she appraises evidence from the ninth to the 18th centuries. Even when immersing the reader in statistical data, the personalities of the period are not lost; King is dealing with real people and does so with sensitivity and purpose. The copious footnotes and extensive bibliography will aid scholars in pursuing any tangential avenue. This book is highly recommended for European history and women's studies collections in academic libraries.-- Claibourne G. Williams, Bluefield State Coll. Lib., W. Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.