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Women in European History

ISBN: 978-0-631-19145-2
320 pages
January 2002, Wiley-Blackwell
Women in European History (0631191453) cover image


This book illustrates the social, cultural, legal and, political conditions that European women have faced from the Middle Ages to the present day.
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Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface vii

Preface ix

1 Querelle des femmes: A European Gender Dispute 1

The Dignity of Man and the Dignity of Woman 2

Misogamy and Misogyny; Philogamy and Philogyny 14

The Power of Fathers, the Power of Men, the Power of Women 27

2 The French Revolution: The Dispute is Resumed 32

Hopes 33

Rights of Man and Rights of Woman 41

Amazons and Counter-revolutionaries 55

Napoleon and the Revolution in Europe 62

Nocturnal Intrigues 78

3 Challenging Boundaries: A Third Gender Dispute 82

Changing Debates and Language 84

No Angels in the House: Ideals and Realities 93

Old and New Labour 99

Pre-Pioneers and Pioneers of the Women’s Movement 108

A Social Movement 116

4 From the Social to the Political 127

National and Transnational Movements 128

Equal because Different: The Political Discourse of Suffragism 137

First-comers and Late-comers: European Paths to Women’s Suffrage 145

Citizenship and Mother’s Rights 156

Social Policies for and against Women 168

5 Between Extremes 174

Female Citizens and the New Woman 175

Maternity and Paternity in the Welfare State 181

Paths Leading to Dictatorship: The Political and the Private 189

National Socialism and Race Policy 206

War and Genocide in Europe 218

6 Civil, Political and Social Rights: A New Gender Debate 233

Liberty and Equality 235

The Longest Revolution 245

History, Mind and Gender 256

Notes 265

Bibliography 280

Index 291

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Author Information

Gisela Bock is Professor of Western European History at the Free University of Berlin. She has published numerous books and articles on the history of women, including studies on gender relations in the modern welfare states, female poverty, women under National Socialism, and the European debates on gender relations.

Allison Brown has been a freelance translator of scholarly books and essays, largely in the fields of history and the social and political sciences, especially women's and cultural studies, since 1988. She has studied linguistics and German studies, and has an M.A. in translation science.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Presents the ways in which the position of women has varied across time and in the different European cultures.

  • Shows how debates on gender relations have shifted with changing historical conditions.

  • Includes an account of women's movements and the emergence of historiography on women
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"Bock looks at issues such as marriage, women's roles in the French and Industrial Revolutions, the nature and definition of the family, women and the welfare state, the Nazi regime, and the women's movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book succeeds in synthesizing a substantial amount of comparative gender and cultural history over a considerable time span. And to Bock's credit, she strikes a good balance between factual information and biography... there is much food for thought" Lori Williamson, Open University <!--end-->

"Bock offers interesting insights into class, race, and gender...Her treatment of the divisive legislation is sophisticated and nuanced." Mary Kinnear, University of Manitoba - Canadian Journal of History

"... A welcome addition to ... women's history in Europe.This is a stimulating book." Reviews

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