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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That said, and this may be entirely my brain atrophying but, it was a bit of a slow read. The University of North Carolina Press. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarch is a remarkable study propelling the issues of race, gender and power to the forefront in colonial Virginia.

I alternate between this and “Underground railroad,” which is intense. Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? 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.

Even still, reading about the perverted peccadilloes of one of the Protestant English Patriarchs did nothing for me. She demonstrates that, despite elite planters’ dominance, wives, children, free people of color, and enslaved men and women continued to influence the meaning of race and class in colonial Virginia.

Don’t be intimidated by the length — it’s worth every page. It enabled Virginian men to redefine masculinity in a more usable form. From “Foul Crimes” to “Spurious Issue”: According to Brown, gender is both a basic social relationship and a model for social hierarchies and it therefore helped determine the construction Jennifer rated it really liked it Jun 16, Dec 03, Marla rated it really liked it Shelves: Illustrations and Tables pp.


However, this book took me a long time to read because of the dense, abstract, highly academic prose. Sign In Forgot password?

Trivia About Good Wives, Nasty But the rise of racial slavery also transformed gender relations, including ideals of masculinity. Jun 14, Anna Rikki rated it it was amazing Shelves: Consequently, good wives were white, nasty wenches were black, and anxious patriarchs resembled insecure white males whom fought to maintain control over rebellious servants, slaves, wives, and children.

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 of English servants and by making legal distinctions between English and African women.

One of my favorite anxoous from my history MA.

Kathleen Brown examines the origins of racism and slavery in British North America from the perspective of gender. You will find vignettes here you won’t find elsewhere, such as when two slaves realize they’ve seen their mistress commit a criminal act and – since they can’t testify in court – what they do to see the crime comes to light. No trivia or quizzes yet. Brown’s analysis extends through Bacon’s Rebellion inan important juncture in consolidating the colony’s white male public culture, and into the eighteenth century.

Dunning Prize in American History Michaela rated it it was amazing Apr 29, If you’re at all interested in colonial Virginia, this is definitely the go-to book. This is a whopping tome, but it’s quite good.

She asserts that in the eighteenth century, white male Virginians sought to formulate an identity with which they could find comfort, one whose origins could be traced to English tradition. Want to Read Xnxious Reading Read.


Perhaps a better approach would be trying to understand their world rather than force them into our mindset. Return to Book Page. The implementation of tax laws that differentiated between black and white women, the existence of hereditary slavery based on the mother’s race and status, and legal definitions of a “Christian” placed greater emphasis on patriarchal distinctions.

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

It was well written but I feel as though the argument was weak. Her effort is a work both of original research and of synthesis.

Virginia Colony United States.

Institute of Early American Wivess and Culture, Englishmen viewed foreign civilizations, particularly their lands through gendered lenses. The rhetoric used to regard the Native Americans as lesser evolved from language the English used against the Irish and, after the s, the “Blackamoors” of West Africa.

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. The question I have after reading this book is how, due to the colonization of West Africa, white people in England came to equate white skin with cultural superiority, and black skin with primitivism.

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

Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Brown’s analysis extends through Bacon’s Rebellion inan important juncture in consolidating the colony’s white male public culture, and into the eighteenth century. Amy Strolle rated it it was amazing Sep 06, Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.