They worked at huswifery
and husbandry, and set up cooperative stores.
Bantering with Desdemona on the quay of Cyprus, Iago stereotypes women as "wildcats in [their] kitchens, / Saints in [their] injuries, devils being offended, / Players in [their] huswifery
, and huswives in [their] beds" (2.
In "`Players in your huswifery
, and huswives in your beds': Conflicting Identities of Early Modern English Women," Mary Thomas Crane also performs a philological tour de force.
Jonson's poem ends with the highest compliments for Lady Barbara Sidney, born Gamage, whose Penshurst huswifery
was apparently of a truly impeccable standard.
The "Social Background" section emphasizes contributions of women with a long stack on huswifery
, social and economic relationships between the sexes, an extensive section on women writers, and reference to misogynistic tendencies of the day, including James I's infamous comment about an erudite woman, "But can she spin?