This is an original, accessible, and comprehensive survey of life as it was experienced by most Englishwomen during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The authors examine virtually all aspects of women's lives: female life-stages from birth to death; the separate culture of women, including female friendship and feminist consciousness; the diverse roles of women in the religious and political movements of the day; and the effect of prevailing perceptions of gender differences. Comparisons are made between the makeshift economy of poor women and the occupational identities, and preoccupations, of the middling and elite classes. This fascinating and well-illustrated book reconstructs the mental and material world of Tudor and Stuart women. It will become the standard text on the subject.