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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.Read more
- 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
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 EssexSee more reviews
“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
"...with this new important book...he [Lynn] deftly blends his specialty with gender theory and women's history to produce a fascinating study of women's role in European warfare between 1500 to 1800" -Stephen Morillo, History: Review of New Books
"A readeable, informative, and often amusing study of the role of women in European armies from 1500 through 1815, termed by the author a 'preliminary' look, which is refreshingly free of agenda and dogmatism." -Albert A. Nofi, The NYMAS Review
"Lynn raises important questions not only about women in warfare, but also about how the decline in their involvement affected their lives and opportunities. Recommended." -Choice
"One of the delights of reading this book lies in the many rich details of the period, which Lynn has assembled from a wide range of sources, including popular art and literature as well as contemporary accounts." -Jennifer G. Mathers, Women's Review of Books
"Lynn draws a rich, colorful picture of life in early armies.A pleasure to read on its own terms, this book uncovers a new element of reality that historians must now integrate into their study of early modern states." -Daryl M. Hafter, American Historical Review
"Lynn's real contribution is to put women back into 'big' historical questions like war, military institutions and state formation." -Peter H. Wilson, The International History Review
“This is a book which needed to be written … It … addresses neglected issues in the economy of the common soldier and his partner and very graphically recreates their survival strategies in the pillage economy characteristic of continental warfare …its historiographical originality depends on the attention given to the conspicuously neglected family economy of the early modern soldier and his consort(s).” -- Olwen Hufton,Journal of Military History
"Lynn's honest discussion of sex as key motivator for soldiers is praiseworthy..." -Eugenia Kiesling, H-Minerva
"This is one of those rare books that can be assigned to undergraduates and still challenge those who know the many fields it touches on to think in new ways." -Journal of Modern History
"Lynn's book provides a stimulating...introduction to a subject that certainly bears much further study." -Michael Wolfe, Sixteenth Century Journal
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- Date Published: September 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
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