‘When Women goe to Law, the Devill is full of Businesse’
in Women before the court
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This chapter provides an overview of the major arguments in the book and maps out how women’s relationship to the law changed in England and colonial America under different legal jurisdictions. It presents the argument that the law increasingly replaced patriarchy as the governing ideology of family and social relationships. It discusses the opportunities and limitations of using legal records as a source of historical evidence, and assesses how the work contributes to our understanding of women in the early modern period.

Women before the court

Law and patriarchy in the Anglo-American world, 1600–1800


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