Female Alliances


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Gender, Identity, and Friendship in Early Modern Britain

Amanda E. Herbert

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Price: $61.00
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In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, cultural, economic, and political changes, as well as increased geographic mobility, placed strains upon British society. But by cultivating friendships and alliances, women worked to socially cohere Britain and its colonies. In the first book-length historical study of female friendship and alliance for the early modern period, Amanda Herbert draws on a series of interlocking microhistorical studies to demonstrate the vitality and importance of bonds formed between British women in the long eighteenth century. She shows that while these alliances were central to women’s lives, they were also instrumental in building the British Atlantic world.

Amanda Herbert is assistant professor of history at Christopher Newport University. She lives in Williamsburg, VA.
“A beautifully written exposition of the significance, intensity, and scope of women’s relationships across the early modern British world.” – Karin Wulf, College of William and Mary

"The author has accomplished, quite simply, writing one of the most arresting, insightful, and useful studies of female relationships—friendships and alliances—to date. The book is terrific. This is a serious achievement."—Lauren Winner, Duke University

‘…carefully constructed and warm-hearted studies.’—Kate Chisholm, Times Literary Supplement.

‘…this is a beautifully written and insightfully argued work, based on meticulous primary research. Female Alliances illuminates an important and over-looked subject in early modern history and will, no doubt, prompt further research and debate on female community in this period.’—Dr. Leonie Hannan, Reviews in History.

“By marshalling impressive numbers of primary sources, Herbert uncovers the myriad types of women’s alliances … in the 17th- and early-18th-century British Empire. . . . Highly recommended.”—J. M. Pope, Choice

“Attractively written, sensitive, and perceptive in its analysis . . . a very welcome and stimulating addition to the rapidly developing study of friendship in the early modern period.”—Bernard Capp, Early Modern Women Journal

“Herbert has . . . done a great service in bringing women’s friendships so clearly into view, a task she accomplishes with lucid elegance.”—Eleanor Hubbard, Princeton University

“Fascinating and emotionally compelling . . . Female Alliances shows us new ways to access and conceptualize women’s lives, from the spaces they occupied to the food they ate together.”—Christine M. Walker, William and Mary Quarterly

Winner of the 2014 Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Best Book Prize on women and gender.
ISBN: 9780300177404
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
272 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
27 b/w illus.