Title

'There is graite odds between a mans being at home and a broad': Deborah read franklin and the eighteenth-century home

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2009

Abstract

From 1764 to her death in 1774, Deborah Franklin lived in 'their' new house without husband Benjamin. The correspondence between them reveals several ambiguously gendered constructions of that house - ideologically, materially, and architecturally. Deborah was 'homeless' legally and conceptually. Her household variously consisted of her mother, her adopted son, her daughter, relatives, guests, boarders and servants - she permanently assumed the role of head of the household. His household consisted of his landlady, Widow Margaret Stevenson, and her daughter Polly - he could not assume his role as head of household. Moreover, as Deborah wrote to her husband about turning the house into a fortress during a raid on it during Stamp Act crisis, he wrote to her about the household goods; as she talked about politics, he discussed familial matters. Their permeable, even ambiguous, masculine and feminine roles reconstructed the meaning - and thereby symbolised the gendered complexity - of the early American white middling and elite eighteenth-century home. © The author 2009. Journal compilation © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2009.

Publication Name

Gender and History

Volume Number

21

First Page

592

Last Page

607

Issue Number

3

DOI

10.1111/j.1468-0424.2009.01559.x

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