Between Poverty and the Pyre: Moments in the History of Widowhood

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Jan N. Bremmer, Lourens van den Bosch
Routledge, 1995 - Social Science - 258 pages
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Between Poverty and the Pyreexamines the history of the experience of widowhood across different cultures, bringing together a collection of essays by historians, anthropologists and philologists. The collection shows how difficult it is to define the "typical" widow, as the experiences of these women have differed so widely, not simply because of their different time periods and locations, but also because of their varying legal and religious status and economic conditions.

The study is diverse, with subjects ranging from the Hindu wives who followed their husbands to the pyre, to widows who were burned as witches or who had to become prostitutes to stay alive. The collection also explores Jesus' interest in widows and the experience of some well-known widows, such as Mohammed's first wife.

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