Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives

Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives

Free Will Christian Women in Colonial Maryland
Debra A. Meyers
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/31/2003
Format: Hardback 3 b&w photos, 3 figures, 1 bibliog., 2 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-34193-8
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Religious conflicts had a pronounced effect on women and their families in early modern England, but our understanding of that impact is limited by the restrictions that prevented the open expression of religious beliefs in the post-Reformation years. More can be gleaned by shifting our focus to the New World, where gender relations and family formations were largely unhampered by the unsettling political and religious climate of England. In Maryland, English Arminian Catholics, Particular Baptists, Presbyterians, Puritans, Quakers, and Roman Catholics lived and worked together for most of the 17th century. By closely examining thousands of wills and other personal documents, as well as early Maryland’s material culture, this transatlantic study depicts women’s place in society and the ways religious values and social arrangements shaped their lives. Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives takes a revisionist approach to the study of women and religion in colonial Maryland and adds considerably to our understanding of the social and cultural importance of religion in early America.

Author Bio

Debra Meyers is Assistant Professor of History at Northern Kentucky University and co-editor of Women and Religion in Old and New Worlds.


“Meyers . . . offer[s] a provocative new idea for religious history, namely that Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Quakers shared a common set of beliefs that caused them to act in concert on social issues.”
 — South March, 2006

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

1. Maryland's Raison d'étre
2. Private Lives
3. Religion in the New World
4. Women and Religion
5. Religion, Property, and the Family
6. Free Will Christian Women's Public Authority
Selected Bibliography