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Resisting Silences: Gender and Family Trauma in the Eighteenth Century

Smith, Lisa Wynne (2020) 'Resisting Silences: Gender and Family Trauma in the Eighteenth Century.' Gender and History, 32 (1). pp. 30-53. ISSN 0953-5233

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This article examines an early modern family through the lens of gender and illness. Fragments of family papers and legal records for the Newdigates of Arbury, Warwickshire suggest that they experienced a trauma – possibly mental illness or child sexual abuse. The family’s illnesses and behaviours can be read as a collective pain narrative. Central to the article is the question of what a family, particularly daughters, could do to protect themselves against an unstable patriarch. Gender and age shaped the family’s suffering and strategy to reclaim their honour. Within this context, the children’s silence was a powerful tool to resist their father’s control.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: secrets; sexual abuse; gender; family; history; pain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2020 13:01
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:50

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