Owning Up: Privacy, Property, and Belonging in U.S. Womens Life Writing
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Handling time. Will usually ship within 1 business day of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Taxes may be applicable at checkout. The codes contain few provisions as to the property of married women, but those few appear to prove that they were in a better position than at later dates. The development of the bride price no doubt was in the same direction. It was the sum paid by the husband to the wife's family for the purchase of part of the family property, while the morning-gift was paid to the bride herself. In its English form, morning-gift occurs in the laws of Canute; in its Latinized form of morgangiva , it occurs in the Leges Henrici Primi.
The old common and statute law of England placed women in a special position. A woman was exempt from legal duties more particularly attaching to men and not performable by a deputy.
Legal rights of women in history - Wikipedia
She could not hold a proper feud, i. The same principle appears in the rule that she could not be endowed of a castle maintained for the defense of the realm and not for the private use of the owner. She could receive homage, but not render it in the form used by men. She could be the constable, either of a castle or a vill, but not the sheriff, except in the one case of Westmorland, where an hereditary office was exercised in the 17th century by Anne, countess of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery. In certain cases a woman could transmit rights that she could not enjoy.
Edward III 's claim to the crown of France rested on such a power of transmission. However, the claim was a breach of the French constitutional law, which rejected the claim of a woman. By Magna Carta , widow's rights to property were protected, in sharp contrast to the Salic law , but a woman could not accuse a man of murder except of that of her husband. This disability no doubt arose from the fact that in trial by battle she naturally did not appear in person but through a champion.
In some old statutes, very curious sumptuary regulations as to women's dress occur. III, cc. At the times of passing these sumptuary laws, the trade interests of women were protected by the legislature. In some cases, the wives and daughters of tradesmen were allowed to assist in the trades of their husbands and fathers. Some trading corporations, such as the East India Company , recognized no distinction of sex in their members.
At common law a woman could own both real and personal property. Personal property passed into the ownership of the husband absolutely, with the exception of certain items of adornment or household use known as paraphernalia. Upon marriage, all of the wife's property becomes under the hands of her husband even if it was her family inheritance. Any money the wife earned through labour or trade also ended up in the hands of her husband whom she was expected to obey in the custom of marriage at the time. Domestic violence was also tolerated in historical England as long as it did not disturb public peace.
In Scotland, as early as Regiam Majestatem 14th century , women were the object of special legal regulation. In that work, the mercheta mulieris probably a tax paid to the lord on the marriage of his tenant's daughter was fixed at a sum differing according to the rank of the woman. Numerous ancient laws dealt with trade and sumptuary matters.
It still survives on the island of Ulva. By the Leges Quatuor Burgorum , female brewsters making bad ale were to forfeit eightpence and be put on the cucking-stool , and were to set an ale-wand outside their houses under a penalty of fourpence. The same laws also provided that a married woman committing a trespass without her husband's knowledge might be chastised like an under-age child. The second part of the Welsh Law Codes begins with "the laws of women", such as the rules governing marriage and the division of property if a married couple should separate.
The position of women under Welsh law differed significantly from that of their Norman-English contemporaries. A marriage could be established in two basic ways. The normal way was that the woman would be given to a man by her kindred; the abnormal way was that the woman could elope with a man without the consent of her kindred. In the latter case, her kindred could compel her to return if she was still a virgin, but if she was not, she could not be compelled to return.
If the relationship lasted for seven years, she had the same entitlements as if she had been given by her kin. A number of payments are connected with marriage. Amobr was a fee payable to the woman's lord on the loss of her virginity, whether on marriage or otherwise. Cowyll was a payment due to the woman from her husband on the morning after the marriage, marking her transition from virgin to married woman. Agweddi was the amount of the common pool of property owned by the couple that was due to the woman if the couple separated before the end of seven years.
The total of the agweddi depended on the woman's status by birth, regardless of the actual size of the common pool of property. If the marriage broke up after the end of seven years, the woman was entitled to half the common pool. If a woman found her husband with another woman, she was entitled to a payment of six score pence the first time and a pound the second time; on the third occasion she was entitled to divorce him.
If the husband had a concubine, the wife was allowed to strike her without having to pay any compensation, even if it resulted in the concubine's death. A woman could only be beaten by her husband for three things: for giving away something that she was not entitled to give away, for being found with another man, or for wishing a blemish on her husband's beard. If he beat her for any other cause, she was entitled to the payment of sarhad. If the husband found her with another man and beat her, he was not entitled to any further compensation.
Women were not allowed to inherit land, except under special circumstances, but the rule for the division of moveable property when one of a married couple died was the same for both sexes. The property was divided into two equal halves, with the surviving partner keeping one half and the dying partner being free to give bequests from the other half.
In , under English law, the earliest age at which a girl could contract a valid marriage was 12; boys had to be Under the lnfants Settlement Act , a valid settlement could be made by a woman at 17 with the approval of the court, while the age for a man was 20; by the Married Women's Property Act , any settlement by a husband of his wife's property was not valid unless executed by her if she was of full age, or confirmed by her after she attained full age.
An unmarried woman was liable for the support of illegitimate children till they attain the age of She was generally assisted, in the absence of agreement, by an affiliation order granted by magistrates. A married woman having separate property was, under the Married Women's Property Acts and , liable for the support of her parents, husband, children and grandchildren becoming chargeable to any union or parish. In common law, the father, rather than the mother, was entitled to the custody of a legitimate child up to the age of 16, and could only forfeit such right by misconduct. But the Court of Chancery , wherever there was trust property and the infant could be made a ward of court, took a less rigid view of the paternal rights and looked more to the interest of the child, and consequently in some cases to the extension of the mother's rights in common law.
Legislation tended in the same direction.
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By the Custody of Infants Act , the Court of Chancery was empowered to enforce a provision in a separation deed, giving up the custody or control of a child to the mother. The Judicature Act enacted that, in questions relating to the custody and education of infants, the rules of equity should prevail. The most remarkable disabilities under which women were still placed in were the exclusion of female heirs from succession to real estate, except in the absence of a male heir; and the fact that a husband could obtain a divorce for the adultery of his wife, while a wife could obtain it only for her husband's adultery if coupled with some other cause, such as cruelty or desertion.
Almost all existing disabilities were lifted by the Sex Disqualification Removal Act These laws would later be reversed by imposition of the Salic Law to prohibit women inheriting property. The Salic law was imposed to prohibit her daughters from inheriting and Spain has had only Kings regnant since her death in Today the Spanish throne is inherited by Male-preference cognatic primogeniture. Colonial Argentina in the 16th century was mixed with women from Spanish descent, indigenous descent or mixed.
Women throughout historical and ancient China were considered inferior and had subordinate legal status based on the Confucian law. Women could not inherit businesses or wealth and man had to adopt a son for such financial purposes. Women's legal status in historical Japan was relatively better especially compared to its neighbour China until the fall of the Kamakura Shuganate in For the majority of history, Indians used their Hindu legal code as a basis for their rights and customs. Hindu legal code is based on the religious texts known as the dharmasatras. But it is also insisted that women is placed under a male guardianship at all times such as father from birth, husband in marriage and sons as a widow.
The colonial takeover by the British during the 17th and 18th century had more negative than positive affects on women's rights in the Indian subcontinent. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Science Technology. Arts Humanities. Popular culture. By country. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. See also: Role of women in Judaism.
Further information: Women in Classical Athens. Further information: Women in ancient Rome. Main articles: Women in Islam and Early reforms under Islam. See also: Islamic feminism and Sharia. See also: Madrasah. See also: Islamic economics in the world. Retrieved 2 November Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press. Religion Compass. Digital collections. University of Chicago Library.
Retrieved 3 November The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. Social Forces. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. Searching for the traces of modern-day law in the past". Armenian Journal of Near Eastern Studies. McMaster University, Faculty of Business Gender divisions in Turkey's labour market.
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Journal of Cuneiform Studies. Stanford Law Review. Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. The Biblical Archaeologist. Journal of the American Oriental Society. The Classical Review. Transactions of the American Philological Society —.
London: Pimlico. New York: Routledge. Harvard University Press. Roman Marriage. New York: Oxford University Press. Transactions of the American Philological Association. Roman law also recognized rape committed against males. Journal of the History of Sexuality. September Al-Ittihad Journal of Islamic Studies. Libris Boydell Press. Categories : Family law Women's rights Women in history Feminism and history.
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