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Diane Publishing Books
Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia
Karin Wulf (au). Marital status was a fundamental legal & cultural feature of women’s identity in the 18th century. Free women who were not married could own property & make wills, contracts, & court appearances, rights that the law of coverture prevented their married sisters from enjoying. Wulf explores the significance of marital status in this account of unmarried women in Phila. She recreates the daily experiences of women who were widowed, divorced, separated, or never married. Arguing that unmarried women shaped the city as much as it shaped them, Wulf examines popular literary representations of marriage, the economic hardships faced by women, & the decisive impact of a newly masculine public culture in the late colonial period. Illus.
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