|About the Book|
Containing the complete and annotated texts of six pamphlets written between 1609 and 1620, Custome Is an Idiot makes an invaluable contribution to the scholarship on early modern British cultural history, specifically on competing opinions about the role of women in society. During the early seventeenth century a fierce debate raged in British intellectual society regarding the role of women, how much is ordained by God, and how much is merely custom. The pamphlets that circulated at the time reveal a great deal about the terms of the debate, and these six constitute a significant body of primary literature, allowing the contending voices to be heard anew. Included here are two pamphlets about gossips by Samuel Rowlands, William Heales treatise against wife-beating, Christopher Newsteads argument for the superiority of women, and Hic Mulier and Haec Vir, two pamphlets that address the theme of cross-dressing. Introductions by Susan Gushee OMalley place each pamphlet in a wider context, and detailed annotations shed light on the individual texts.