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Domestic Economy and Domestic Security | Early Modern and Open Access

By November 20, 2016 No Comments

This is part of a regular series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.

Citation and Link:

Rebecca M. Quoss-Moore, “Domestic Economy and Domestic Security: The English Housewife and her Nation,” APPOSITIONS: Studies in Renaissance / Early Modern Literature & Culture 9 (2016)


As the changing economy of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led to increased social and physical mobility, the housewife, as a central figure of English domesticity, became an increasingly important figure in Renaissance England. “Her” domestic centrality was made possible by the anxieties and complications accessed through increased travel, mobility, and change. At the same time, these complications led English men and women to create ever stricter definitions to control the role and depiction of the English housewife, in whose image the entire country now had a vested interest. As the English translation of Juan Luis Vives’s Instruction of a Christian Woman, Gervase Markham’s The English Housewife, and Elizabeth Jocelin’s posthumous The Mother’s Legacie to her Unborne Childe reflect, English society invested enormous amounts of energy in attempting to create a stable, safe identity for itself by crafting a stable, safe identity for the housewife. This figure necessarily influenced the way that Englishwomen and men thought and wrote about a definition of the foreign and a particular, domestic, English national identity.


Author Lindsay

Lindsay Ann Reid is a regular contributor to The Scrivener and Early Modern and Open Access. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is a Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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