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'Give mee a Souldier's Coat': female cross-dressing during the English Civil War

'Give mee a Souldier's Coat': female cross-dressing during the English Civil War
'Give mee a Souldier's Coat': female cross-dressing during the English Civil War
This article lifts the veil on the women who dressed as men during the English Civil War - and on contemporary reactions towards them. The piece begins by noting that - although it is often claimed that the armies of king and parliament were accompanied by many females who had 'counterfeited their sex' in order to march into the field - those claims rest on a surprisingly slim evidential base. Next, the article considers the ways in which both cross-dressed women and women in quasi-masculine attire were viewed during the half century before the war began, and suggests that attitudes towards such women may sometimes have reflected broader politico-religious attitudes. Finally, the article explores the handful of cases in which the presence of cross-dressed women in the rival armies is genuinely attested to - and asks what these cases reveal about reactions to such women during the conflict itself.
Women, English Civil War, Cross-Dressing
0018-2648
5-26
Stoyle, Mark
95be1cdc-0205-4d36-b505-b1ddb4cde508
Stoyle, Mark
95be1cdc-0205-4d36-b505-b1ddb4cde508

Stoyle, Mark (2018) 'Give mee a Souldier's Coat': female cross-dressing during the English Civil War. History, 103 (354), 5-26. (doi:10.1111/1468-229X.12542).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article lifts the veil on the women who dressed as men during the English Civil War - and on contemporary reactions towards them. The piece begins by noting that - although it is often claimed that the armies of king and parliament were accompanied by many females who had 'counterfeited their sex' in order to march into the field - those claims rest on a surprisingly slim evidential base. Next, the article considers the ways in which both cross-dressed women and women in quasi-masculine attire were viewed during the half century before the war began, and suggests that attitudes towards such women may sometimes have reflected broader politico-religious attitudes. Finally, the article explores the handful of cases in which the presence of cross-dressed women in the rival armies is genuinely attested to - and asks what these cases reveal about reactions to such women during the conflict itself.

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Give mee a Souldier's Coat - Revised Article - 29 May 2017 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 June 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 January 2018
Published date: January 2018
Additional Information: Mark Stoyle is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Southampton
Keywords: Women, English Civil War, Cross-Dressing
Organisations: History

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411974
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411974
ISSN: 0018-2648
PURE UUID: dbb8e109-9325-4cd1-9ba7-d3351c077879

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Jul 2017 16:31
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 05:58

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