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Never MarriedSinglewomen in Early Modern England$
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Amy M. Froide

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270606.001.0001

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The Question of Choice: How Never-Married Women Represented Singleness

The Question of Choice: How Never-Married Women Represented Singleness

Chapter:
(p.182) 7 The Question of Choice: How Never-Married Women Represented Singleness
Source:
Never Married
Author(s):

Amy M. Froide (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199270606.003.0007

This chapter examines the writings of singlewomen themselves and what they tell us about early modern women's views of singleness. Looking at letters, journals, memoirs, and autobiographical poems, the chapter illustrates various singlewomen bemoaning their marital state, resigning themselves to it, or even choosing it outright. Singlewomen's own writings also show that few women chose singleness at a young age, but that various life decisions and factors (illness or deformity, a lack of financial means, family needs, a religious or educational call) led some women down a path that predisposed them to lifelong singleness.

Keywords:   autobiography, letters, journals, choice, female memoir, singleness, singlewomen, poetry

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