To understand the position of women before the law, historians in the first wave of feminism in the early 1900s examined the legal status and conditions of women in specific European countries such as England, France and Germany, but these overviews were not necessarily focused on the early modern period.2 By the 1960s through early 1980s, second wave feminist studies – as part of the movement to restore women to history – concentrated on the conditions of women in a particular place and time, mapping out the legal status of women and the restrictions under which they operated.3 Historians of the law are not immune to the methodological shifts of the discipline and the study of women’s legal status has evolved with the rise of social history and its attention to class and race, as well as the later shift to a perspective recognizing the gender differences between male and female experiences of the law.