Jennifer J. Davis (Co-Editor Journal of Women’s History; Associate Professor of History, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Julie Hardwick (John E. Green Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin) about her new book Sex in an Old Regime City: Young Workers and Intimacy in France, 1660-1789 (Oxford University Press, 2020).
Young women and men sought out each other’s company in the workshops, cabarets, and streets of Old Regime France and evidence of these relationships lingers in documents and material objects conserved in Lyon’s municipal and departmental archives. How did young workers spend time together? When would they initiate sexual relationships outside of marriage? What resources did they marshal to manage pregnancy and childbirth, and what kind of support might they expect from their neighbors, employers, and families? In paternity suits, young women provided direct answers to these questions, and left an incomparable archive testifying to their desires, hopes, loss, and often, grief resulting from “courtships gone awry.”
Jennifer J. Davis, Co-Editor Journal of Women's History
Associate Professor of History & Women's & Gender Studies
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019 USA