Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Setting The Scene: Discourses Of Passivity And Violence

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

The rules of coverture have dominated discussions of women’s history in the past few decades. Historians have explored extensively the vulnerability of women under a law that fictitiously considers husband and wife as one person represented by the husband. In terms of marital disharmony, the disadvantages women suffered because of the rules of coverture are immediately apparent. A victim of abuse might not desert or abandon her husband easily, because she lacked free access to support. The expectation of female passivity when faced with marital violence should not come as any surprise. The image of the passive wife was far more common than Chobham’s interpretation of the good wife who corrects her husband’s moral failings. In terms of spousal abuse, some of the ecclesiastical literature from the period even spelled this out.

Keywords: coverture; marital disharmony; marital violence; passivity; women’s history



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    The Language of Abuse — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation