The women who wouldn’t be silenced in Reformation France

Tales of wives shaming errant husbands, brides forcing lovers to marry them and maidservants taking their rapists to court emerge from Suzannah Lipscomb’s research into the female residents of Reformation France. So, she asks, does this mean that women in 16th-century Europe wielded more power than we previously thought?

A maid polishes a silver dish. Female domestic servants were highly vulnerable to sexual exploitation, but in Reformation France they found some ways to fight back. (Photo by: Christophel Fine Art/UIG via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the February 2019 edition of BBC History Magazine

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