The question this article poses is: Are the assumptions about women in Lawrence Stone's The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 sound and should his conclusions form the point of departure for the work of the growing number of scholars in both history and literature interested in early modern English women? The question really needs to be asked because of the commanding reputation of the author, his pioneering attempt at constructing an overarching conceptual framework for the evolution of family modes—an effort that has contributed to bringing into focus the work of other scholars in the fields of family and women's history—and the remarkable popularity of the book. By 1979, two years after its first publication the demand for this big, 800 page volume was lively enough to warrant an abridged paperback edition, and today the book is used in “hundreds” of courses and seminars in history, literature, sociology, and women's studies in universities and colleges in the United States and the United Kingdom. Personal conversations with scholars and students, especially those who do not work directly in women's history, indicate that Stone's assumptions about women have won uncritical acceptance. This is surely accountable to the fact that no scholar has published a close examination of Stone's treatment of women and only a few reviewers have suggested the need for caution in following his views about the condition of women.