"...subjects deserving of the highest praise": farmers' wives and the farm economy in England, c.1700-1850

Verdon, Nicola (2003) "...subjects deserving of the highest praise": farmers' wives and the farm economy in England, c.1700-1850. Agricultural History Review, 51 (1). pp. 23-39. ISSN 0002-1490

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Abstract

The farmers' wife remains one of the most elusive figures in agrarian history. Her labour on the farm (and in the farmhouse) was largely unpaid, and therefore unrecorded. Historians have acknowledged the contribution made by farmers' wives, but no attempt has yet been made to examine in detail the whole range of tasks usually undertaken by them and the value attached to this work. This article seeks to redress this neglect. Using a range of agricultural literature (farming manuals, encyclopaedias, journals and tours), it will be argued that the position of the farmer's wife depended on status and region, and whilst some women had withdrawn from active participation in the farm economy by the early nineteenth century, this trend should not be overstated.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain > DA020 England
Depositing User: Nicola Verdon
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:33
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 15:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26577
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