Women of the Golden Age. An international debate on women in seventeenth-century Holland, England and Italy.
Els Kloek, Nicole Teeuwen, Marijke Huisman(eds)
Foreigners visiting Holland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were surprised by Dutch women. They were not only beautiful, but also hard workers; they could do sums and keep house, and last but not least they were very domineering. Many historians, including Simon Schama, based their descriptions of the life of women in the Dutch Golden Age primarily on these foreign commentaries. Was the relationship between men and women in the Dutch Republic truly different from elsewhere? Did the women of the Republic have more opportunities to develop their talents than their sisters in other countries? Was the Golden Age a period of development and growth for the women as well? These questions were focussed upon during the VSB Masterclass held in Haarlem in the summer of 1993. The lectures and responses of this interdisciplinary congress on the position of women in seventeenth-century Holland have been compiled in Women of the Golden Age.