women's history: casahistoria recommends these sites for general interest - not just history   

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  The Parisian Christine de Pisan (1363-1430). When she was 25 her husband died and left her with three children and her widowed mother to look after. She started writing poems to supplement her income. Christine managed to find patronage at Court and started to get commissions. Click for the image source which I feel is attractive, but a modern rendering.  casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

  on this page
Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
1. General Sites
2. Researching Women's History
3. Medieval women
4. 17th Century Women in England
English Civil War | Poets & Writers | Women & Family | Men's views on women
5. Witches & Witchcraft
European Witch Hunt | Salem Trials
6. 18th Century: Pre Industrial Society

Poets & Writers | Men's views on women 

Our other core Women's History sub-sites:
19c - Industrialisation & Emancipation
(a) Great Britain: Social position | Work | Emancipation movements
(b) USA: Work | Emancipation movements | African-american women
Suffrage Movement in Gt Britain
Suffrage Movement in the USA
Women in Totalitarian States:
Stalin's Russia | Nazi Germany | Fascist Italy Communist China
20th century: the impact
Women & Modern War | Women in Art & Science | Women in the Developing World | Women's Issues | Girls and Education


casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:




1. General Sites to Women's History      
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2. Researching Women's History

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  • The Women's Library (previously Genesis) is a mapping initiative, funded by the UK Research Support Libraries Programme to identify and develop access to women's history sources in the British Isles. The database holds descriptions of women's history collections from libraries, archives and museums from around the British Isles. Search the database by using the search box on the opening page.
  • H-Women Discussion Group Scholarly discussion to communicate current research and teaching interests, to test new ideas and to share comments on current historiography.
  • WWW Virtual Library of Women's History This virtual library contains a very comprehensive list of women's history in institutions and organizations
  • Library Collections Library collections of original sources (letters, diaries, papers, etc.) on the topic of women's history.  From about.com


3. Medieval Women

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Medieval Women
  • What was a medieval woman? Selection of documentary extracts set out in a clear question & answer format.
  • Dominion and Domination of the Gentle Sex Lives of Medieval women with historical information and biographies. Site includes many links on Medieval times and women. May take time to load.
  • Edith (Eadgyth) of England Daughter of King Edward the Elder of England, she was married off to the Emperor Otto I as his first wife.
  • Margaret Douglas Countess of Lennox A biographical profile of Margaret Douglas, grandmother of James VI of Scotland who became James I of England, and granddaughter of Tudor King Henry VII.
  • Mapping Margey Kempe Site dedicated to Margey Kempe was one of the better known medieval businesswomen, from Lynn in Norfolk. She wrote The Book of Margery Kempe which is often seen as the first English autobiography. Full text is on this site. For an annotated version of the book (written in middle English), click here.
  • Huneberc Eighth century C.E. English woman writer, with translations, background and bibliography.   §
  • Julian of Norwich Website Despite the name, this website includes essays on many medieval religious women, in addition to rich resources on Julian herself. rather strange in its polemic layout. Available also in Latin, Italian, Portuguese; Spanish; French
  • Early English Costume: Women/Girls Source: Calthrop, Dion Clayton. English Costume: I. Early English. London, 1906  Includes colour plates and line drawings as well as detailed articles about historical English fashion. the origin of ladybird pictures?????
  • Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index An academic site which covers journal articles, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages.
  • The Ducking Stool BBC audio report (about 10mins). The middle ages were not kind when it came to punishments. The ducking stool was reserved for women who could be publicly humiliated for simply speaking their minds - or, as it was put at the time, being a nag or a scold. One of the few ducking stools still remaining is in the 13th century Priory Church in Leominster. Jane Gething-Lewis is taken on a guided tour by the historian, Eric Turton. 


4. 17th Century Women in England 

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  • Women's Fashions of the 17th Century Drawings by Wenceslaus Hollar, published in the middle of the 17th century, are invaluable resources for what women were wearing at that time. This about.com resource includes many of Hollar's illustrations in thumbnail images, clickable for much larger versions.

Women & the English Civil War

Civil War For more on the Civil War go to the casahistoria site.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography In the UK if you are a public or college library card holder you can access (free of charge) its excellent biographies by just entering your local library membership number (on your library card) in the box provided. Many public, university, and institutional libraries elsewhere in the world subscribe, and should offer remote access. (If your library doesn't subscribe, try a free trial ….) Even if you have no access use these names as a suggestion as to who to search out for on the web. Look for the biographies on:
  • Bankes, Mary, Lady Bankes (d. 1661), royalist landholder who defended the family home  and then fought the Commonwealth fines & sequestrations through the courts
  • Brilliana, Lady Harley (bap. 1598, d. 1643), During the English Civil War, in the absence of  husband and sons, she defended her home, Brampton Bryan Castle during a seven week siege by Royalist troops. She died of pneumonia in the 1643 Siege of Gloucester.
  • Fanshawe [née Harrison], Ann, Lady Fanshawe (1625–1680), autobiographer
  • Henrietta Maria (1609–1669), queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, consort of Charles I
  • Henriette Anne [formerly Henrietta], Princess, duchess of Orléans (1644–1670 the sixth and youngest of the children of Charles I
  • Stanley, Charlotte, countess of Derby (1599–1664), noblewoman and royalist heroine
  • Stuart, Katherine, Lady (d. 1650), 1643 conspirator for Charles, then mediator between Parliament and the exiled Stuarts


           Caught in the middle!!
  • Greene, Anne (c.1628–1659), survivor of execution  for puritan crime of being ‘led … into the foul and fearful sin of fornication’
  • Trapnel, Anna (fl. 1642–1660), self-styled prophet. At her 1654 trial she was accused of witchcraft, madness, whoredom, vagrancy, and seditious intent but defended herself as a free single woman (and hence masterless), whose right to pray, publish, and travel were founded in common and divine law, backed by her rights as taxpayer.
Poets & Writers
  • Aemilia Lanyer (1569 – 1645) Home Page for this Elizabethan & Stuart lawyer and poet. Includes biography and clear links to poems.
  • Anne Bradstreet, (?1612 – 1672) colonial American woman, was America's first poet. She wrote of domestic and religious themes. About.com page of links to her best known work.
  • Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720) Resource site for poetry, biography and sources
  • Aphra Behn (1640 to 1689), Site dedicated to the first professional woman writer in English. Best known for her pioneering work in prose narrative After John Dryden, she was also the most prolific dramatist of the Restoration.
    • Aphra Behn (1640 - 1689), the first known English woman to earn her living by the pen
  • Seventeenth-century women poets Bibliographies and biographical and text resources on a selection of poets
  • The Journeys of Celia Fiennes Three hundred years ago, a remarkable woman travelled alone through every county in England. Today, her journal provides us with a glimpse of 17th-century England. By Jean Ducey for British Heritage Magazine


Family & Marriage (generally, these are useful but can be quite difficult to read ……)
Men's views on women


5. Witches & Witchcraft

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  • Witchcraft Documents (15th Century) From Medieval Sourcebook. If you need a quick read of excerpts from the basic documents, here's where to start.
  • Online reproduction of Malleus Maleficarum  One of the most famous medieval treatises on witches. Written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, first published in Germany in 1487. Its main purpose was to challenge all arguments against the existence of witchcraft and to instruct magistrates on how to identify, interrogate and convict witches. For a transcription see Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger Malleus Maleficarum, from George L. Burr, ed., The Witch Persecutions in Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, 1898-1912)
  • The Witch-Cult in Western Europe Margaret Alice Murray's 1921 interpretation of the witch trials of Europe. She quotes extensively from European witch trials, and takes the evidence quite literally. See God of the Witches in this set of links for another of Murray's books.
  • Witchcraft before Salem Concise, but well laid out survey by Douglas Linder
  • The European Witch-Hunts, c. 1450-1750 An analysis of the evidence from gendercide.watch about the witch craze of Europe, 15th through 18th century, with special attention to the question: was this "gendercide"? Were women especially targeted by male patriarchy? Well argued and linked to other sources and essays. Much is made of :
  • Medieval WitchCraft in Scotland An illustrated history of incidents of witchcraft accusations in Scotland, mostly 16th and 17th century.  §
  • Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt Jenny Gibbons' analysis which ties the European witch-hunts to other "panics" in early modern Europe.
  • Who burned the witches? For years, feminist scholars have argued that witch hunts were inspired by a reactionary, misogynistic church. But new scholarship, like Lyndal Roper's "Witch Craze," reveals that the real villains were the neighbours. By Laura Miller in Salon.
  • New Light on Witchcraft Joseph McCabe's sceptical approach to the history of witchcraft and the evolving definition of "witch," part of a larger critique of Christianity. Odd disclaimer required before using....
  • Witchcraft & Medicine (1484-1793) Useful pdf of an essay produced in 1974 by Jaroslac Nemec for the US National Library of Medicine. Clear, relatively concise and well illustrated.
  • Depictions of witches during persecutions selection of 16th century woodcuts with brief descriptions.  §
  • Costume Discounters. Despite the somewhat improbable name this page has clear brief outlines and many links to the more ephemeral aspects of witchcraft.  It has also been the origin of several of the more academic links quoted in this section.
     Salem Witch Trials:
  • Witchcraft in Salem Village Original documents, maps and transcriptions from the Salem Trials of 1692, presented in a clear, well set out site by the Peabody Institute Library and the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia.
  • Salem Witch trials of 1682. Well set out. Good access to documents. By Douglas Linder
  • Salem Witch Trials: Documentary Archive and Transcription Project Collection of primary source documents on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and related material. Sources include court records, complete texts of contemporary books (dating 1690s-1800s), record books, historical maps of Salem, images of the original court documents from various archival institutions, and other images. Very useful site from The Women's Studies Section (WSS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries
  • Rebecca Nurse Homestead Site guide for visitors to building. Good background & visuals
  • Giles Corey Brief history by Heather Synder of Giles Corey, one of the six men to be executed during the Salem witch trials of 1692.
  • Images of the Salem Witch Trials Selection of secondary images, painted some time after the event.
  • Information on The Crucible brief outline of Miller play with links to film production




6. 18th Century: Pre Industrial Society

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Poets & Writers
  • British Women Romantic Poets  online sarchive consisting of E-text editions of poetry by British and Irish women” written between 1789 and 1832 from the Univ of California
  • Reinventing the Feminine Very thorough and easy to use site on 18th century blue stocking writers. This is the site index page to show how comprehensive the site is, especially as regards context
  • The Bluestocking Archive An more difficult archive of texts relating to the eighteenth-century British Bluestocking Circle and the second generation Blues. The Society was an informal women's social and educational movement in England in the mid-18th century. The Society was founded in the early 1750s by Elizabeth Montagu , Elizabeth Vesey and others as a women's literary discussion group, a revolutionary step away from traditional non-intellectual women's activities.
  • The Susan Burney (died 1800) Letters Project  Digital edition of the letters & journals of  the late 1700s, which “provide a uniquely informed account of English musical culture, a chronicle of some of the period’s major political events and valuable insights into the social status and occupations of an educated woman” Unfortunately now apparently given up by Univ of Nottingham, this is now the archive of the original site.  §
  • The Diary of Midwife & healer, Martha Ballard (1735 – 1812)Well produced site for school use especially based on the huge diary kept by Martha Ballard in Massachusetts. Also has an archive of primary sources under topic headings (such as domestic life; religion; law and justice; midwifery and birth).
  • Elizabeth Blackwell and her ‘Curious Herbal’ Online British library copy showcasing Elizabeth Blackwell’s (1700 – 1758) 1737 Curious Herbal containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants,  unprecedented enterprise for a woman of her time
Men's views on women



Women & the 19th century: industrialisation & emancipation. Go to the casahistoria site for links on:
(a) Great Britain: Social position | Work |Emancipation movements
(b) USA: Work | Emancipation movements | African-american women



the casahistoria Women's History sub-sites:
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  Early Women's history: Pre industrial Revolution
 Researching Women's History | Medieval Women |
17th & 18th century | Witches and Witchcraft
  19c - Industrialisation & Emancipation
(a) Great Britain: Social position | Work | Emancipation movements
(b) USA: Work | Emancipation movements | African-american women
  Suffrage Movement in Gt Britain
  Suffrage Movement in the USA
  Women in Totalitarian States:
Stalin's Russia | Nazi Germany | Fascist Italy |  Communist China
  20th century: the impact
Women & Modern War | Women in Art & Science |
Women in the Developing World | Women's Issues | Girls and Education




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