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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

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Women Waging Law in Elizabethan England

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ISBN13: 9780521023252
ISBN: 0521023254
Published: November 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 1998)
Price: £39.99

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The publisher will print a copy to fulfill your order. Books can take between 1 to 3 weeks. Looseleaf titles between 1 to 2 weeks.

This book investigates the surprisingly large number of women who participated in the vast expansion of litigation in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Making use of legal sources, literary texts, and the neglected records of the Court of Requests, it describes women’s rights under different jurisdictions, considers attitudes to women going to court, and reveals how female litigants used the law, as well as fell victim to it. In the central courts of Westminster, maidservants sued their masters, widows sued their creditors, and in defiance of a barrage of theoretical prohibitions, wives sued their husbands. The law was undoubtedly discriminatory, but certain women pursued actively such rights as they possessed. Some appeared as angry plaintiffs, while others played upon their poverty and vulnerability. A special feature of this study is the attention it pays to the different language and tactics that distinguish women’s pleadings from men’s pleadings within a national equity court.

• Examines every aspect of women’s relationship with the law, comparing practice with theory • Compares women’s experience with that of men, and analyses a wide range of experiences • Draws in literary and dramatic texts in an attempt to relate fictional pleadings with real situations

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Legal History
1. Introduction
2. Women, legal rights and law courts
3. Female litigants and the culture of litigation
4. The court of requests
5. Unmarried women and widows
6. Married women
7. Freebench, custom and equity
8. Pleading strategies in requests
9. Women waging law.