Leo Gershoy Award Winner 2016: Alexandra Shepard’s Accounting for Oneself:Worth, Status and the Social Order in Early Modern England

97801996007931Alexandra Shepard’s brilliant new book on the social order of early modern England Accounting for Oneself: Worth, Status, and the Social Order in Early Modern England (Oxford Univ. Press, 2015) has been announced as the Leo Gershoy Award winner for 2016.  Accounting for Oneself makes a major new contribution to the scholarship on gender and work through its re-examination of women’s relationship to property, gendered divisions of labour, and  early modern understandings of work. Examining over 13,500 witness statements made in English Church Courts between 1550 and 1728, this book examines how people from across the social spectrum assessed their place in the social order as well as how they supported themselves at different points in the lifecycle. Their testimony bears witness to the profound impact of widening social inequality that opened up a chasm between the middle ranks and the labouring poor between the mid-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries. Continue reading “Leo Gershoy Award Winner 2016: Alexandra Shepard’s Accounting for Oneself:Worth, Status and the Social Order in Early Modern England”