First published in 1910, this study in social evolution from the 13th to the 16th century functioned as a successor to Jacob Burckhardt’s The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy (1860). The author developed Burckhardt’s idea of studying continuous trends over time whilst challenging his idea that Early Modern women enjoyed extraordinary freedom in comparison to their Medieval predecessors. Boulting contrasts the idealization of women with real women at home and in life, portraying women as expanding from protective bondage due to economic progress alongside what contemporary scholars saw as the degeneration of the Catholic Faith during and following the Counter Reformation. He explores various roles of Renaissance women including maidens, married women, housewives, motherhood, widowhood, styles of dress, nuns, saints, courtesans and academics. In doing so, Boulting hoped to demonstrate how very substantial yet how wholly partial the emergence of women was during this Late Medieval and Early Modern period and that this coincided with the complete amelioration of humanity and an increase in kindliness and sense of duty among both men and women.

chapter |5 pages


part I|1 pages

Womanhood Idealized

part II|2 pages

The Real Woman at Home and in Life

chapter I|10 pages

The Maiden

chapter II|16 pages


chapter III|31 pages


chapter IV|20 pages

The Wedded Pair

chapter V|12 pages

Passion and Flirtation

chapter VI|11 pages

The Woman at Home : The House

chapter VIII|18 pages

The Mother

chapter 9|13 pages

Widowhood. Sickness. Death and Burial

chapter 10|19 pages

Stir, Perils and Amusements of Life.

chapter 11|11 pages

Dress and Adornment

chapter 12|18 pages

Religion, Superstition and Deeds of Piety

chapter 13|16 pages

Canonized and Beatified Women

chapter 14|7 pages

The Nun

chapter 15|31 pages


chapter 16|19 pages

The Courtesan