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Mary Kinnear.

Ann Arbor (MI), University of Michigan Press, c1982.
Distributed by Wiley.
228pp, paper, $18.50.
ISBN 0-472-08029-6.

Reviewed by Grace E. Funk.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

This book is written by an associate professor of history at St. John's College, University of Manitoba, as part of the Women and Culture series. It is published simultaneously by John Wiley and Sons, Canada, and is probably intended as a text for women's studies or a supplement to European history. It takes the historical approach from an interesting angle. Almost necessarily it is roughly chronological; it is also thematic. Each chapter deals with a particular time and place, sketching the background of circumstance and belief, and women's place in it. Chapter headings speak of "The Early Christians," "Court and Salon" (pre-revolutionary France), and "Love and Duty" (women's sexuality in the nineteenth century). Earlier chapters contain unavoidable generalities; later ones include more interesting specifics: "Ellis denounced the unemancipated woman as a cross between an angel and an idiot." The chapters are well-written essays, sparsely illustrated, followed by short reading lists. Notes, a selective bibliography, and an index conclude the book. The final chapter, "Twentieth Century Trends," is more like sociology and becomes somewhat prescriptive. The postscript summing up is masterly and concise. "Concern for the transmission of private property. . .explain(s). . .physical circumscription of women." "One difference. . .of the twentieth century is the physical separation of productive and reproductive activity." "Education has become a substitute for land and plow." "Monumental effort is required to arrive at egalitarian principles of institutional practice." (No doubt I read the book with interest, during the week of November 8, in British Columbia. A picket line is perfectly egalitarian.)

Grace E. Funk, Harwood E.S., Vemon BC.
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