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Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe

  • Date Published: November 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521722377

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About the Authors
  • Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe examines the important roles of women who campaigned with armies from 1500 to 1815. This included those notable female individuals who assumed male identities to serve in the ranks, but far more numerous and essential were the formidable women who, as women, marched in the train of armies. While some worked as full-time or part-time prostitutes, they more generally performed a variety of necessary gendered tasks, including laundering, sewing, cooking, and nursing. Early modern armies were always accompanied by women and regarded them as essential to the well-being of the troops. Lynn argues that, before 1650, women were also fundamental to armies because they were integral to the pillage economy that maintained troops in the field.

    • Demonstrates importance of women to European armies
    • Includes many engaging and surprising stories
    • Puts women at the center of the conduct of war and the need for military and political reform
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An important study not only for gender specialists but also for military historians. Lynn is most interesting on the role of women in the pillage economy while his work offers a new perspective on the vexed question of the Military Revolution and its dating.' Jeremy Black, University of Essex

    'This is a masterful work by a master historian. In an engaging work that combines military and social history, Lynn brings to life the indispensable role of women in early modern European armies and tracks down the reasons for a major shift in their place after 1650. We can never again imagine war as only men's work.' Lynn Hunt, Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History, University of California, Los Angeles

    'Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe fills a hole in a neglected area of study; it offers a range of fresh insights; and it has broad appeal. It will become the book on the subject. And it will undoubtedly set the agenda for future research. For this reason, it is unlikely to remain the definitive work on the subject, since future research may well challenge some of Lynn's conclusions, but it will undoubtedly be the major reference point for other scholars.' Frank Tallett, University of Reading

    'For those who wish to take the subject further, Lynn has provided an up-to-date synthesis …' BBC History Magazine

    'Lynn set out to tell the history of women as much as the history of armies; he has succeeded admirably. The size of the female contingent, its nature and its behaviour will come as a revelation to both military historians and to women's history devotees.' Open History

    ' … examines the role of women who campaigned with armies from 1500–1815 and argues that their contribution was integral to the pillage economy that kept troops in the field.' Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521722377
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Situating the story: armies, communities, and women
    2. Camp women: prostitutes, 'whores', and wives
    3. Women's work: gendered tasks, commerce, and the pillage economy
    4. Warrior women: cultural phenomena, intrepid soldiers, and stalwart defenders.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • European Civilization 1500-1800
    • History of Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe
    • Medieval and Renaissance Culture
    • Military History of the Western World
    • The Art of War in European History
    • Women and War
  • Author

    John A. Lynn II, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    John A. Lynn II earned his PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is the author of Bayonets of the Republic: Tactics and Motivation in the Army of Revolutionary France, 1791–94 (1984); Giant of the Grand Siècle: The French Army, 1610–1715 (1997); The Wars of Louis XIV, 1667–1714 (1999); The French Wars 1667–1714: The Sun King at War (2002); and Battle: A History of Combat and Culture (2003 and 2004). He has edited The Tools of War: Ideas, Instruments, and Institutions of Warfare, 1445–1871 (1990) and Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present (1993). He has also published eighty chapters, articles, and papers. He has served as president of the United States Commission on Military History and as vice-president of the Society for Military History. In addition he has been awarded the Palmes Academiques at the rank of chevalier from the French government and the Wissam al Alaoui at the rank of commander from his Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

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