By Clare Haru Crowston
examines the social establishment of the seamstresses’ guild in France from the time of Louis XIV to the Revolution. against this with prior scholarship on girls and gender within the early sleek interval, Clare Haru Crowston asserts that the increase of absolutely the kingdom, with its centralizing and unifying trends, might really bring up women’s financial, social, and felony possibilities and make allowance them to thrive in company firms reminiscent of the guild. but Crowston additionally unearths paradoxical results of the guild’s good fortune, resembling how its turning out to be club and visibility finally fostered an essentialized femininity that used to be tied to model and appearances.
Situating the seamstresses’ guild as either an monetary and political establishment, Crowston explores particularly its dating with the all-male tailors’ guild, which had ruled the garments fabrication alternate in France till girls challenged this monopoly throughout the 17th century. Combining archival facts with visible pictures, technical literature, philosophical treatises, and type journals, she additionally investigates the options the seamstresses used to make and promote garments, how the clothes mirrored and formed glossy conceptions of femininity, and guild officers’ interactions with royal and municipal gurus. eventually, by way of delivering a revealing portrait of those women’s deepest lives—explaining, for example, what percentage seamstresses went past conventional woman obstacles by means of deciding on to stay unmarried and identify their very own households—Crowston demanding situations present rules approximately women’s paintings and relations in early glossy Europe.
Although garments lay on the middle of French financial creation, social contrast, and cultural identification, Fabricating Women is the 1st publication to enquire this enormous and archetypal girl guild intensive. will probably be welcomed via scholars and students of French and eu historical past, women’s and hard work heritage, type and know-how, and early smooth political economy.