The renowned historian and biographer Lady Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette, investigates the lot of women in seventeenth-century England. Drawing on period diaries, letters, and other papers, Fraser sketches portraits of a variety of women, both highborn and humble, during the tumultuous century between the death of Elizabeth and Queen Anne’s assumption of the throne. More than a collection of female biographies, The Weaker Vessel offers fresh insight into its subjects’ attitudes and lives, with appearances by heiresses and dairy maids, holy women and prostitutes, criminals and educators, widows and witches, midwives and mothers, heroines, courtesans, prophetesses, businesswomen, ladies of the court, and that new breed, the actress.
“An almost encyclopedic chronicle of women in 17th century England…wives, warriors, heiresses, preachers… alive with anecdote after anecdote.” – The New York Times Book Review
Antonia Fraser is the author of many internationally bestselling historical works, including Love and Louis XIV, Mary Queen of Scots, and Marie Antoinette, which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola. She is also the author of two memoirs, Must You Go? and… More about Antonia Fraser