Eleanor Hubbard studies the social and cultural history of early modern Britain. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2009.
Her first book, City Women: Money, Sex, and the Social Order in Early Modern London (Oxford University Press, 2012) addresses the lives of ordinary women in the English capital during a period of extraordinary change. Using court testimony and popular literature, she explores how women’s lives were shaped by prevailing social anxieties and concerns, in particular powerful – and often contradictory – worries about sexual and economic order. She finds that when the two conflicted, economic concerns generally took priority, creating opportunities that women were quick to exploit. Based on new quantitative evidence as well as case studies of women’s migration to the city, courtship, extramarital pregnancy, marriage, household economies, neighborhood politics, work, widowhood and remarriage, and old age, City Women provides a detailed and vivid portrait of the aspirations and struggles of early modern Englishwomen.
Professor Hubbard is now exploring the lives and experiences of sailors and their communities in 1550-1650 England and beyond. She is using sailors’ deposition for the High Court of Admiralty to analyze how sailors dealt with the dangers and temptations posed by piracy and privateering, and how common maritime cultures bound seafarers of warring kingdoms together even as politics and religion drove them apart. She is particularly interested in problems of risk and identity, and the experiences of sailors’ wives.
Professor Hubbard teaches a lecture course on England from the Wars of the Roses to the Glorious Revolution, and seminars on the English Revolution and women and gender in early modern England. She will be on leave in the year 2012-2013.