Women and Credit in Pre-industrial Europe

This collection of essays  compare and discuss women’s participation and experiences in credit markets in early modern Europe and highlight the characteristics, common mechanisms, similarities, discrepancies, and differences across various periods of time and regions. The essays cover various regions in Europe in different time periods and at all levels of society. The emphasis is placed particularly on their role as creditors and debtors, a topic largely ignored in traditional historiography, but also and above all on the evolution of their roles across time. Were women able to enter the credit market, and how? In what proportion? What was then the meaning of their involvement in this market? What did their involvement mean for the community and for their household? Was credit a vector of female emancipation and empowerment? What were the changes that occurred for them in the transition to capitalism?