Anne Orthwood's Bastard

Anne Orthwood's Bastard : Sex and Law in Early Virginia

3.54 (142 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Anne Orthwood's Bastard" tells the story of a maidservant from Bristol, England who emigrated to Virginia's Eastern Shore in 1662, became pregnant by a caddish nephew of a colonial politician, and died in childbirth, leaving an illegitimate son and a host of knotty legal problems. Through a study of the four cases stemming from this birth and the people involved, Pagan uses the community's response to illuminate the emerging distinctiveness of early American law. He argues that the peculiar structure of Virginia's economy and labour system accounts for many of the differences between colonial and English law, and contends that Virginia leaders skilfully shaped legal doctrines and institutions to serve their own more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 137.16 x 203.2 x 17.78mm | 294.83g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1 map
  • 0195144783
  • 9780195144789

Review quote

... complex and original piece of work. Journal of American Studies This excellent book helps us understand much more about life and death in 17th-Century Virginia. Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA) John Pagan's subtle and sophisticated research and analysis and his lucid and evocative writing bring to life these Virginians of 350 years ago. The character sketches of the servants, justices of the peace, planters, jurors, and of Anne Orthwood and her lover are gems of historical writing. Through the experiences of those people, Pagan teaches us how they lived and how they created and solved problems. Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA)show more

Rating details

142 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 12% (17)
4 44% (62)
3 35% (49)
2 7% (10)
1 3% (4)
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