The Open UniversitySkip to content

Women, godliness and personal appearance in seventeenth-century England

Laurence, Anne (2006). Women, godliness and personal appearance in seventeenth-century England. Women's History Review, 15(1) pp. 69–81.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Women in early modern England were expected in their personal appearance to conform to notions of gender, class and godliness. Women did credit to their husbands and families by presenting a comely appearance in which there was no possibility of confusion as to gender or class. This article explores how the literature of the period tried to manage the paradox of these expectations alongside concerns about vanity, excess and the mutability of fashion. It concludes that even godly women were subject to considerable pressures about dressing and presenting themselves to meet expectations of how they should look rather than the beauty of their souls.

Item Type: Article
Copyright Holders: 2006 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-583X
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 2952
Depositing User: Anne Laurence
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 09:48
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340