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Household Politics: Conflict in Early Modern England

Household Politics: Conflict in Early Modern England

Household Politics paints a vivid and prickly portrait of gender relations in early modern England. It's just not true, Herzog argues, that contemporaries "naturalized" or "essentialized" patriarchal authority: they saw it as political and fought about it endlessly. Nor is it true that a gendered public/private distinction made the political subordination of women invisible: indeed understanding how women were public is crucial in understanding the terms of their domination. Against left and right alike, Herzog argues that conflict isn't an acid bath eating away at social order, but is what social order ordinarily consists in. To cash out that abstract view, he reconstructs practices of domestic service.

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