Gender in Early Modern England

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
09 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The aim of this module is to examine the roles and relations of women and men in early modern England between 1550 and 1750. Religion, law and culture represented relations between the sexes in rigid and hierarchical ways: men were to rule and women were to be obedient to them. But the reality was often very different for this was very far from a traditional society. You will explore how the practical realities of economic life, social and intellectual change and the disruptions of Civil War and Reformation changed opportunities for, and attitudes towards, men and women between the sixteenth and mid-eighteenth centuries.

Module aims

This module aims to explore the complicated, varied and changing attitudes to and experience of men and women between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries through examination of a range of primary sources including diaries, pamphlets, ballads, court records of crime and marital disputes, as well as sermons and advice books.

Module learning outcomes

You will develop a grasp of how evidence may be used to explore the lives of ordinary women and men in early modern England whose voices, until recently, have been hidden from the historical record. The module will also focus on how gender can be used as a category to understand how society worked. Specific topics considered include the English Civil War, The Reformation, the body, marriage, sexuality, motherhood, work and the use of social spaces such as taverns and coffee houses in eighteenth century towns and cities.

Module information

General Reading List:

Gowing, Laura, Gender Relations in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2012). E Book.

Capern, Amanda L., The Historical Study of Women. England 1500-1700(Basingstoke, 2008).

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and seminars.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Document Analysis (1000 words)  05/12/2019  40% 
Coursework   Essay (2500 words)  16/01/2020  60% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Amanda Flather, email:
Dr Amanda Flather
Belinda Waterman, Department of History, 01206 872313



External examiner

Dr Mark Williams
Cardiff University
Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 19 (95%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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