Patrimalarkey 2: Woman's Work

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Many people, when discussing history, often speak broadly of Western European society in the 18th and 19th century and generalise the characteristics of this era to all of history, all around the world. This is of course an extrordinary generalisation. It is often claimed that women generally did not work outside of the home and were confined to the home. This is largely untrue. Throughout history large proportions of the female population worked outside of the home. In 16th and 17th century western Europe it was quite common for women to work in trades such as smithery.

Husbands and wives trained in the same trade would often work together in a small business. The wife would have the opportunity to provide professional assistance to her husband around caring for children.