“The life we live today is not the has-to-be life,” said Jonas Lindström, one of the research leaders of the Gender and Work project. After the talk with Jonas, this sentence kind of made me sit still and think through the hopeful sentiments of historical studies. I often think about why I’m drawn to history, but I’ve never come across this down-to-earth aspect, that history can assist us in coping with our daily life. During our conversation, he also talks about the past, the present, and the future of Gender and Work, the project he has been participating for almost ten years. See how he looks at it in this interview.
“Love was desirable in marriage, but labour and property were essential.” The quote appears in ‘Making a living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society,’ edited by Maria Ågren. It encapsulates the theme of this book: economy over emotions. It does not mean that people in the past were heartless, but the purpose of the book is not to discuss the concept of ‘modern love’ that produces ultimate joy and emotional support. This book rather aims to reveal the socio-economic aspect of ordinary people's historiography and challenge several problematic narratives about the past that are circulating in our society. This fragment of history being redefined and retold in this thorough study is essential to the understanding of marriage and working life as a whole. Click on the headline or the feature image to read the full review.