Cover: Cultures of Charity: Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy, from Harvard University PressCover: Cultures of Charity in HARDCOVER

Cultures of Charity

Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy

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Product Details


$57.00 • £45.95 • €51.50

ISBN 9780674067097

Publication Date: 02/15/2013


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

3 halftones, 13 line illustrations, 4 tables

I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History


  • List of Figures and Tables*
  • Introduction
  • 1. Showing the Poor a Good Time: Gender, Class, and Charitable Cultures
    • Two Cultures of Charity
    • “Good Mothers of the Family”
  • 2. Worthy Poor, Worthy Rich: Women’s Poverty and Charitable Institutions
    • The Turning Wheel: Charitable Institutions and Life Cycle Poverty
    • The Critical Decade
    • Nights and Days at the Opera
  • 3. Tightening Control: The Narrowing Politics of Charity
    • Making It Work
    • People versus Patricians: Civil Society and Controlling Charity
  • 4. Meeting the Bottom Line: Alms, Taxes, Work, and Legacies
    • Begging for Beggars: Keeping the Opera Pia dei Poveri Mendicanti Afloat
    • Taxation by Other Means
    • Making a Workhouse
    • Deeper in Debt and Richer all the Time: Building a Legacy
  • 5. The Wheel Keeps Turning: Moving Beyond the Opera
    • Enclosing the Circle: Shelters and the Reform of Poor Women
    • Credit Where Credit Was Due: Investing in Marriage
    • Beyond Charity: Mutual Assistance and the Working Poor
  • 6. Epilogue: Baroque Piety and the Qualità of Mercy
    • Bringing Discipline to Practical Charity
    • The Aesthetics of Poverty and the Qualità of Mercy
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • * Figures and Tables:
    • Figures
      • 1. The First Shelter of the Opera Pia dei Poveri Mendicanti: the Ospedale di S. Maria della Misericordia (later S. Gregorio)
      • 2. The Three Shelters of the Opera Pia dei Poveri Mendicanti (1674)
      • 3. Income and Expense at the Opera Pia dei Poveri Mendicanti, 1570–1600
      • 4. Food Expenses at the Opera Pia dei Poveri Mendicanti, 1570–1600
      • 5. Traditional Alms Gathering by the OPM, 1570–1600
      • 6. Public Subsidies for the OPM, 1570–1600—Total
      • 7. Public Subsidies for the OPM, 1570–1600—by Source
      • 8. Income from Textile Piecework at the OPM, 1570–1600
      • 9. Forms of Silk Piecework at the OPM, 1570–1600
      • 10. Income Earned by Males in the OPM, 1570–1600
      • 11. Work-Related Earnings at OPM, 1570–1600
      • 12. Work-Related Earnings as Percentage of Total Income at OPM, 1570–1600
      • 13. Surpluses and Deficits at the OPM, 1570–1600
      • 14. Testaments, Requiems, and Legacy Income at the OPM, 1570–1600
      • 15. Women “Imprisoned” in the Convertite Convent, 1649–1679
      • 16. G. B. Mitelli, “Compagnia di molti miserabili ragazzi che s’impiegano unitamente in publiche preghiere, confidando nel divino soccorso, mediante la carità de divoti concittadini” (1699)
    • Tables
      • 1. Alms from Religious Houses to the OPM, 1564, 1584–1597
      • 2. Girls’ Earnings at Two Bolognese Conservatories
      • 3. Wetnursing and Living Expenses at the Ospedale degli Esposti 1567–1593
      • 4. Senate Subsidies to OPM 1600–1732

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