Bloomsbury Cultural History
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A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Early Modern Age

A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Early Modern Age, Volume 3

by Sandra Cavallo

Sandra Cavallo is Professor of Early Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is author of Charity and Power in Early Modern Italy and Artisans of the Body in Early Modern Italy and editor of Widowhood in Medieval and Early Modern Europe; Spaces, Objects and Identities in Early Modern Italian Medicine; and Domestic Institutional Interiors in Early Modern Europe. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Silvia Evangelisti

Silvia Evangelisti is Lecturer in European History at the University of East Anglia. She is author of Nuns: A History of Convent Life 1400-1750 and editor of Unmarried Lives: Italy and Europe, Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries and Domestic Institutional Interiors in Early Modern Europe. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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(eds)
Bloomsbury Academic, 2010
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781350049659
  • ISBN:
    978-1-3500-4965-9 (online)

    978-1-84788-796-2 (hardback)

    978-1-4725-5469-7 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017
A Cultural History of Childhood and Family in the Early Modern Age
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The period spanning the 15th to the 17th Centuries saw an unprecedented interest in childrearing and the family. Renaissance humanist thought valued the education of children while promoting the family as a mirror of a well-ordered society, based on class, gender, and age hierarchies. Protestant and Catholic reformers and state-sponsored disciplinary measures further reinforced authority within the family, with marriage seen as a primary instrument for moralizing sexual customs. The proliferation of printed books and artworks representing the family popularized models of domestic life across Europe and its newly acquired colonies. At the same time, high mortality, repeated wars, poverty, increased migration, and geographical mobility severely undermined these idealized notions of family and childhood, giving rise to a wide range of unconventional and highly unstable households.

As with all the volumes in the illustrated Cultural History of Childhood and Family set, this volume presents essays on family relationships, community, economy, geography and the environment, education, life cycle, the state, faith and religion, health and science, and world contexts.