Widowhood — even when it brought wealth and liberation rather than poverty and tribulation — posed a variety of challenges to men and women in Britain and on the Continent. This conference, sponsored by the Centre for the History of Gender and the Urban Experience at Bath Spa University, showcases papers from historians, literary scholars and postgraduate students with an interest in the historical experience of widows and widowers between 1400 and 1900. While the widow is a well-known figure of literary and historical analysis, much less academic attention has been paid to the widower, or to the gendered experience of widowhood over time and across boundaries. This conference aims to foster an international dialogue and create a network of scholars interested in exploring the ways that men and women coped with the loss of a spouse and how their experiences of widowhood were shaped by gender, place and space.
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