Women, Families, Guilds and the French Exception

  • Anna Bellavitis


The wives and children of master craftsmen were a constant presence in workshops, in all European cities. The collaboration of wives in workshops was reflected in the rules of the crafts guilds that usually authorised widows to continue their husbands’ work. The chapter examines the specific relation between families and guilds and focuses particularly of the case of French women’s textile guilds, the only case of female craft guilds in early modern Europe, that strongly contradicts the thesis of the decline in the legal status of the economic activities carried out by women.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Bellavitis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RouenRouenFrance

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