This eye-opening book covers over a thousand years of Western history and exposes the controls that noble, bourgeois, and propertied peasant families exerted over daughters (and sons) to ensure the continuity of existing social relations. It details the broader economic and social structures within which young women married and the degree to which the institution of the dowry--the marriage bargain--structured courtship and marriage. This provocative volume addresses important issues of women's status and their roles in the family, the family economy, and the economy at large.
Table of Contents
- From Brideprice to Dowry in Mediterranean Europe
- Women, Dowries, and Capital Investment in Thirteenth-Century Siena
- Trousseau as Treasure: Some Contradictions of Late Nineteenth-Century Change in Sicily
- For Love or Money: The Marriage Strategies of Jews in Imperial Germany
- Dowry in Modern Greece: An Institution at the Crossroads Between Persistence and Decline