Gender in Early Modern German History
Why did parents prosecute their children as witches? Why did a sixteenth-century midwife entice a burgher woman to pretend that she was giving birth to puppies? How did the life of a transsexual woman in early eighteenth-century Hamburg come to its end? This volume presents a range of startling case-studies from German society between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment which make us think in new ways about the meanings of gender and identity in the past and which relates, above all, to the lived experiences of men and women, whose lives and choices mattered. The book argues for approaches to early modern history which point to the complexity of peoples' attitudes, in terms of contemporary experiences of the physical, both emotional and imaginary; of shifting symbolisations of evil, sexual symbolisms, of perceived boundaries between the 'real' and the 'fantastical', family structures and spiritual worlds.