Resources on Women in the Reformation

The relationship of husband and wife and the role of a woman in ministry changed radically as a result of the Protestant Reformation. The end of celibacy among the clergy was not just an answer to the rampant immorality that preceded the Reformation. Perhaps the greatest impact of this return to the Bible's teaching on these matters came through the examples of the reformer's homes. Though somewhat eclipsed by the ministries of their spouses - the women of the Reformation played a vital role in it, and had a significant impact upon the life of the church to this day.

Published Resources:

  • Women in Reformation and Counter-Reformation Europe : Public and Private Worlds by Sherrin Marshall (Editor) (September 1989) Indiana Univ Pr; ISBN: 0253205271
  • Convents Confront the Reformation : Catholic and Protestant Nuns in Germany (Reformation Texts With Translation (1350-1650). Women of the Reformation, by Merry Wiesner-Hanks (Editor), Joan Skocir (Translator), Merry Wiesner Hanks (Translator) (January 1997) Marquette Univ Pr; ISBN: 0874627028
  • The Holy Household : Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg (Oxford Studies in Social History) by Lyndal Roper (July 1991) Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0198202806
  • Profiles of Anabaptist Women : Sixteenth-Century Reforming Pioneers(Studies in Women and Religion, Vol 3) by C. Arnold Snyder (Editor), Linda A. Huebert Hecht (Editor) (December 1996) Wilfrid Laurier Univ Pr; ISBN: 088920277X
  • Men and Women of the Renaissance and Reformation by Thomas R. Rumsey (OP) ASIN: 088334145X
  • Katharina Schutz Zell (Studies in Medieval and Reformation Thought, 69) by Elsie Anne McKee (November 1998) Brill Academic Publishers; ISBN: 9004111123
  • Women of the Reformation from Spain to Scandinavia by Roland Herbert Bainton (OP) ASIN: 0806615680
  • Women of the Reformation in France and England by Roland Herbert, Bainton
  • Women of the Reformation in Germany and Italy, by Roland Herbert, Bainton (
  • Characters of the Reformation : Historical Portraits of the 23 Men and Women and Their Place in the Great Religious Revolution of the 16th Century by Hilaire Belloc (October 1992) Tan Books & Publishers, Inc.; ISBN: 0895554666
  • The Wives of Henry VIIIby Antonia Frasier Reprint edition (January 1994) Vintage Books; ISBN: 067973001X
  • Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir Reprint edition (March 1993) Ballantine Books (Trd Pap); ISBN: 034538072X
  • Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser Paperback Reprint edition (October 1993) Delta; ISBN: 038531129X
  • Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir (September 1998) Ballantine Books (T); ISBN: 0345405331
  • A World Lit only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance by William Manchester (1993) Back Bay books: Little brown and Co. ISBN 0316545562
  • The Reformation: A History Part III Chapters 15 & 16 by Diarmaid MacCulloch. A 2003 Book on the Reformation including 2 lengthy chapters of the changes in marriage and sexual relationships.

    Online Resources

  • Reflections on Clerical Family Life by Philip Schaff From History of the Christian Church, Vol. 7

  • Martin Luther's Marriage to Katie Von Bora
  • Bios of Women from the time of Katherine Von Bora: Katherine Zell, Wilibandis Rosenblatt, Elisabeth Cruciger, Marguerite of Navarra, Elisabeth of Brandenburg and Elisabeth of Calenberg (German Site)
  • 40 Frauen Renaissance 40 Biographies of Renaissance Women (German Site)
  • The Lives of Renaissance Women Lesson aids (facts and quotes) for a college class - includes extensive bibliography
  • Wibrandis Rosenblatt German Site
  • Idelette de Bure, Wife of John Calvin
  • Margaret of Navarre
  • Margaret of Valois
  • Charlotte of Bourbon
  • Catherine de Medici
  • The Six Wives of Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon - divorced , Anne Boleyn - beheaded, Jane Seymour - died, Anne of Cleves - divorced, Katherine Howard - beheaded, Katherine Parr - survived. Also in the English Reformation: Lady Jane Grey, Mary 1, and Elizabeth 1. Each page accompanied by a gallery of pictures.
  • The Works of Elizabeth I Poems, Speeches, and Letters
  • The Tudor Women who ruled 16th Century England
  • Life of Women in Tudor England Very informative!
  • Elizabethian Costuming Page Lots of Links
  • Le Poulet Gauche: 16th Century French: Women and Children and Families
  • The Heptameron by Margaret, Queen of Navarre, Sister of Francis I, (d. 1549). Styled like the Decameron of Boccaccio, this collection of French tales illuminates life in the 16th Century.
  • Catherine d' Medici
  • Jeanne d' Albret - The Protestant Queen of Navarre - PDF file
  • Reformed Royalty: The Strength of Queen Jeanne d'Albret by Marilyn B. Manzer
  • A Faithful Huguenot Queen: Jeanne d'Albret by Paul K. Christianson
  • Margeurite of Valois (Margot)
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Dominion and Domination of the Gentle Sex: A site on the Lives of Medieval Women based on The City of Women was a book written by one of the most active feminists among medieval women, Christine de Pisan (1364-?).
  • Women of Middle Ages links
  • Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Browse the links
  • The Vicar of Wakefield By Oliver Goldsmith - a novel describing post Reformation pastoral Family Life.
    Published Resources on these various pages are linked to for availability and pricing information or for convenient purchase. For tracking down and purchasing used or out of print books, I recommend highly Advanced Book Exchange. For assistance in getting the "gist" of German, French, Spanish, Italian sites, etc, you can use Free or Alta Vista's Babelfish.
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