A New Trumpet? The History of Women in Scotland 1300–1700



In comparison to the field in many other countries, women's history in Scotland is a relatively new area of research. This is especially true for the history of late medieval and early modern women. Although some work appeared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Scottish women's history did not really develop as a field until the 1980s, with most work on women before 1700 appearing in the last two decades. Several recent studies have taken a biographical approach, but other work has drawn on the insights from research elsewhere to examine such issues as work, family, religion, crime and images of women. Scholars are also uncovering women's voices in their letters, memoirs, poetry and court records. Because of the late development of the field, much recent work has been recuperative, but increasingly the insights of gender history both in other countries and in Scottish history after 1700, are being used to frame the questions which are asked. Future work should contribute both to a reinterpretation of the current narratives of Scottish history, and also to a deepening of the complexity of the history of women in late medieval and early modern Britain and Europe.