Tracing Sexual Identities in "Old Age": Gender and Seniority in Advice Literature of the Early-modern and Modern Periods

Marja van Tilburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Thus far, historians have interpreted representations of elderly women with reference to women's roles or to women's positions in society. This article proposes a different approach toward gender: to relate representations of the aged to the sexual identities of both men and women. This article analyzes representations of old age in conduct books of the early-modern period and the nineteenth century. By drawing a comparison, the eighteenth-century change of "identity regime" in European culture is brought to the fore. The article points to the influence of sexual identities on the representations of senior persons in advice literature both in Dutch and translated into Dutch.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)369-386
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Family History
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct-2009


    • old age
    • gender
    • identity regime
    • conduct books

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