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Grass Green Stockings

Eleanor Hubbard: A Spinster’s Accounts, 21 March 2013

The Business and Household Accounts of Joyce Jeffreys, Spinster of Hereford, 1638-48 
edited by Judith Spicksley.
Oxford, 413 pp., £90, March 2012, 978 0 19 726432 4
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... In June 1646, Joyce Jeffreys lost her spectacles. When a servant found them, Jeffreys tipped her sixpence, and then the elderly gentlewoman, following her habit, entered the expense into her account book. Between 1638 and 1648, Jeffreys kept a record of all her receipts and expenditures, noting them in a neat, regular hand. While we know little of her early life – when she was born, for example, or why she never married – we know a great deal about her business dealings, friendships and pastimes during her later years ...

Streets Full of Suitors

Jonah Miller: Early Modern Women, 21 August 2014

City Women: Money, Sex and the Social Order in Early Modern London 
by Eleanor Hubbard.
Oxford, 297 pp., £24.99, September 2014, 978 0 19 872204 5
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Women, Work and Sociability in Early Modern London 
by Tim Reinke-Williams.
Palgrave, 225 pp., £60, April 2014, 978 1 137 37209 3
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... have some credit where we dwell’ and ‘We are London Gentle-women borne.’ Both Eleanor Hubbard and Tim Reinke-Williams emphasise that ‘sexual behaviour was not the only activity which determined female identity and reputation.’ They use court records to examine the lives of 17th-century London women who married and raised children ...

Making a Mouth in a Contemptuous Manner

John Gallagher: Civility Held Sway, 4 July 2019

In Pursuit of Civility: Manners and Civilisation in Early Modern England 
by Keith Thomas.
Yale, 457 pp., £25, June 2018, 978 0 300 23577 7
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... pushed further: in recent years, the close attention paid by the historians Alexandra Shepard, Eleanor Hubbard and Amy Erickson, among others, to the ways people described themselves to authority figures has revealed much about the proletarian understanding of manners. Civility was a different matter for women too. They learned to speak softly and how ...

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