This study investigates how gender and race became intertwined components of the social order in colonial Virginia. It focuses on two related issues: the role of. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and ยท Power in Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, xvi +. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs has ratings and 24 reviews. Susanne said: I LOVE the title of this book. And the subject matter is.

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No trivia or quizzes yet. This practice, along with making slavery hereditary through the mother, contributed to the cultural shift whereby women of African descent assumed from lower-class English women both the burden of fieldwork and the stigma of moral corruption. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Brown shows in detailed asides how Afro-Virginians slaves and freedmen exploited loopholes in Virginia’s racist and misogynist legal system to obtain some privileges.

Jessica rated it liked it Dec 11, Paperbackpages. Brown investigates how sixteenth-century English concerns about unrestrained women, colonizing Ireland and Africa, weches exercising state control were translated to colonial Virginia. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. Conquered territories and people personified feminine categorization, susceptible to domination. In response to the presence of Indians, the shortage of labor, and the insecurity of social rank, Virginia’s colonial government tried to reinforce its authority by regulating the labor and sexuality anxilus English servants and by making legal distinctions between English and African women.

Miranda Nathan rated it it was amazing Apr 26, The day inspired my Fall read. Institute of Early American History and Culture, Aug 06, Anne added it.

Gerry Nissenbaum rated bood really liked it Mar 23, Mar 27, Caroline Ervin rated it it was amazing. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.


The Anglo-Indian Gender Frontier pp. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. As for afro-Virginian and Indian women, they were the most susceptible to abuse and attacks. Moreover, she wrestles with rich primary material on colonial Virginia, from tax rolls, deeds, county court records, government documents, oral histories, court minutes, newspapers, statutes, and wills and inventories, to secondary literature.

From inside the book. In this respect, wencjes posits that Virginians constructed race and gender simultaneously through gendered lenses. This is a whopping tome, but it’s quite good.

It enabled Virginian men to redefine masculinity in a more usable form. They were restricted by concerns for respectability and safety to interactions within their own class, household employees, and under certain patriarcus, men of their own class.

Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia

Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Brown is associate professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. Jul 03, John Beeler rated it it was ok. I loved the interplay between the various classes of women in Colonial Virginia and the descriptions of the social heiarchies they created.

References to this book Colonial Citizens: Brown Book Published by: Her effort is a work both of original research and of synthesis. They were unmarried, lacking domestic skills, and poor. Open Preview See a Problem? The prevention of Africans from forming socially legitimate households rooted the system, while class distinctions fiercely preserved between white women, as well as the unfree labor of slaves, allowed their husbands and sons to create an egalitarian culture of free white manhood.

To support such a claim, Brown points to how dives and Indian women were vulnerable to sexual predations of men nasy all ranks along Virginia’s roads.


Entertaining and an ingesting look at our fore fathers. As in academically dense, not as in boring. I thought this book was excellent.

Dunning Prize in American History Feb 15, Dan Gorman rated it it was amazing Shelves: There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Ben Hellwege rated it really liked it Jan 30, Brown carefully traces how ill-defined racial categories were and the successful integration and sometimes intermarriage of the first generation of Africans in Virginia. Additionally, Brown contends that Bacon’s Rebellion in became a pivotal moment in Virginian history. Thanks for telling us about the problem. By the third generation of Virginian life women had become essential markers of political and economic status, with only African wices conceived of exclusively as nasty wenches and English women elevated almost unalterably to good wives, creating conceptions of slavery and gender which were mutually reinforcing.

She ascribes 21st century motives, aspirations and views to 16th and 17th century societies. Elite white men enjoyed the greatest range of social contacts, whereas elite white women experienced greater limitations.

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Article PDF first page preview. Drawing on recent works of religious, cultural and political history to inform her narrative, Brown’s work encompasses a true Atlantic history.

Project MUSE – Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs

Abbreviations and Notes on the Text pp. Related articles in Google Scholar. The University of North Carolina Press.

Sexual Regulation and the Social Construction of Race pp.

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