Sunday, May 01, 2011

Question from KK - Unchaperoned men and women

In Tudor times, could a man and woman talk together unattended?


Marilyn R said...

I am just about to start reading Liza Picard's 'Elizabeth's London' - will let you know if she covers this point.

Marilyn R said...

Have dipped into the book at what would seem to be the relevant sections but have found nothing.

kb said...

It would be wise to define the question more closely. Men and women worked alongside each other in the field and in many craft home-based industries. So for the 'lower sorts' yes, men and women could frequently find themselves talking together.

If you mean elite men and women, then you still need to define the context. Elite women might speak to their groomsmen, stewards and chamberlains without supervision.

If you mean men and women at court, there was little privacy to begin with so it took little effort to be chaperoned. Most spaces were public. If meetings between elite men and women were arranged for specific purpose there would frequently be another person present.

If you are asking could private conversation take place between elite men and women, yes but it took some conniving and orchestration of the time and place - even if by chance.