Alcohol, Sex, and Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern by A. Lynn Martin (auth.)

By A. Lynn Martin (auth.)

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Sample text

53 Household accounts similarly provide information that is somewhat precise. 54 The household accounts for a Pisan notary in 1428 indicate that the family of four, including the husband, his mother, wife, and young male servant, consumed 1,820 liters of wine a year, or 455 liters each, the equivalent of over six and a half bottles of wine a day for the family. 55 Finally, an example from England. 56 To sum up, women obtained their alcoholic beverages in the form of charity, through bequests and wills, as wages, and in daily rations.

For example, at Montaillou early in the fourteenth century women did not drink much, and men often did not even offer them wine,17 but documentation of similar restrictions is thin. ’18 Drinking women In spite of patriarchal restrictions, demonstrating that women drank alcohol in traditional Europe is comparable to demonstrating that they ate food. Rather than a case of bibo ergo sum it was a situation of sum ergo bibo. 22 Such anecdotes provide ample information on royal women and their entourages, but the records also 20 Alcohol, Sex, and Gender provide evidence on the drinking behavior of other women, including the poor.

140 According to the Northumberland Household Book, in the early sixteenth century one quarter of barley produced 83 gallons of beer. Modern brewers reckon that one quarter should produce 76 gallons of strong or 150 gallons of mild beer, so the 83 gallons were on the strong side. G. G. 1 by using the ratios in the Northumberland Household Book, that is, one quarter to 83 gallons. Had Coulton used different ratios the results would have been less but stronger beer, or more but weaker beer. 142 Other types of evidence indicate that people in traditional Europe were not drinking just watered wine and small ale or beer.

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