The Ideas of Man and Woman in Renaissance France. Print, Rhetoric, and Law (review)

Sylvie Perrier
2012 Histoire sociale / Social History  
Yet, as Tye acknowledges, the cruel irony of her mother's efforts was that the better the job she did in feeding the family, "the more invisible her work became" (p. 96). The invisibility of women's household labour was, of course, a paradox central to the lives of millions of Canadian women during this period, making Laureen Tye's story a powerful account of how -while food was an important "expression of her care" and a reflection of "how she understood and enacted her role as a nurturer
more » ... as a nurturer within the family" (p. 98) -it was also a profound burden that often receives little public recognition. As a minister's wife, in particular, Laureen Tye's baking was very much a public act -whether at church teas, lunches, and dinners or during the constant stream of visits from parishioners, ministers, or other community members. It is this unending, invisible labour that leaves the strongest impression on the reader -not the far fewer examples of the kitchen as an empowering site of self-expression and creativity. In her last chapter, Tye suggests that her own personal reading of her mother's recipes represents a kind of "critical nostalgia" (p. 221) and it seems that this is, overall, a good description of what Tye's book represents. While trying to celebrate her mother's life and work in the decades following her death, Tye also places -quite successfully -these celebrations within the context of the profound limitations and constraints placed on her as a minister's wife and a mother of three children in the Maritimes during the early postwar period. In the process, Tye offers a unique and welcome addition to the growing literature on food studies and the history of everyday life. WARNER, Lyndan -The Ideas of Man and Woman in Renaissance France. Print, Rhetoric, and Law, Farnham (G.-B.) et Burlington (É.-U.), Ashgate, 2011, 263 p. C'est à un changement de perspective sur les idées exprimées au XVI e siècle à propos de la nature humaine, et plus spécifiquement des deux genres qui la composent, que nous invite Lyndan Warner dans ce livre important, à la méthodologie rigoureuse. Elle y propose une confrontation des textes liés à la célèbre Querelle des femmes avec ceux portant sur la dignité et la misère humaines pour démontrer qu'ils partagent un style commun basé sur une rhétorique qui consiste à argumenter les deux côtés d'une question, démarche qui est aussi l'apanage des plaidoiries d'avocats de l'époque. L'auteure nous convie ainsi dans l'univers mental des élites lettrées de la Renaissance française et en profite pour remettre en question les interprétations féministes de la Querelle, trop centrées sur un corpus limité de textes insuffisamment contextualisés selon elle. Warner désire sortir de l'impasse misogynie/féminisme et ouvrir plus largement le questionnement sur les conceptions de l'homme et de la femme au XVI e siècle. Il ne s'agit pas d'une étude littéraire, mais plutôt d'une histoire socioculturelle des idées où tout le cycle de production, de distribution et de consommation des textes est pris en compte. Le chapitre introductif insiste sur la transformation de la société française au début de la période moderne et le défi que posait aux familles l'expansion rapide de l'appareil royal, en particulier les offices et professions juridiques. La formation des
doi:10.1353/his.2012.0034 fatcat:j75dom7i6vfq7dzhy4d24ky3ru