Women and the English Revolution (Dr Richard Cust)

Women and the English Revolution (Dr Richard Cust)
There has been considerable debate about whether the English Revolution contributed to the emancipation
of women. There is no doubt that the experience of civil war, the rise of radical political and religious
groups, such as the Levellers or the Quakers, and the execution of the king all had a dramatic impact on the
family and male/female relationships; but did this serve to empower women or confirm and reinforce
patriarchal authority?
This project will explore the various roles and opportunities available to women in this period, and the
ways in which men responded and reacted to these. It will be based on printed pamphlets and books
available in the Special Collections and elsewhere in the University Library. These include bibliographies
and autobiographies of women, diaries and letter collections, and a large literature commenting on the
religious and political changes of the period.
The aim will be to assess the impact of the revolution on women in both public and private spheres, within
the family, and the wider world of political and religion.