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Gender and the culture of the English alehouse in late Stuart England

By B. S. Capp


The world of the alehouse and tavern in early modern England has generally been\ud regarded as primarily male, a view that was deeply embedded in the period itself.\ud This essay explores the place of women within the public house, in serving, buying\ud and consuming alcohol, and the unwritten conventions that underpinned social\ud practice. It argues that while some female customers matched their contemporary\ud image, as disorderly, immoral and dishonest, it was also possible for respectable\ud women to visit a tavern or alehouse without risking their good name, provided they\ud adhered to the conventions. Middling-sort and elite women might drink and dine in\ud London taverns with their husbands, or in mixed parties; throughout England married\ud couples, and mixed groups of young folk, might drink, dance, and socialise; marketwomen\ud might assemble at the end of the day, and chapwomen often lodged overnight.\ud And, at least in London, respectable women might enter a public house alone, by\ud day, without meeting disapproval. Many establishments provided private as well as\ud public rooms, and these created social spaces for female customers, couples and\ud mixed parties, serving different needs than those met within the main public space

Topics: HQ, HN, DA
Publisher: Collegium
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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