Serena Galasso

Memory between accounts. Some reflections on women’s domestic writings in Florence (15th-16th centuries)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Account books, Women, Memory, Economic practices, Renaissance Florence

This paper aims to assess the involvement of Florentine patrician women in the management of the household and the written memories of the lineage, between the fifteenth and sixteenth century. I will focus on a type of source that has so far received little attention: their books of accounts and ricordi. In a context in which, according to an extensive historiography, women had limited legal and economic rights and in which men kept household accounts and family memories, these women’s writings are particularly valuable. Based on the preliminary results of ongoing research, the observation starts from a significant case study: a booklet (1553-1563) opened by a Florentine widow, Francesca Boninsegni, to keep accounts with her mother, Tommasa Sertini. Today this document is kept in a heterogeneous documentary collection. I will try to reconstruct the documentary context and the family networks in which the book was used and circulated. Moreover, the experience of Tommasa and Francesca will be constantly crossed with the account books kept by other women at the same time. Finally, this analysis will allow us to shed light on the multiple meanings that these pragmatic writings could have had in everyday life.

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