Fathers usually let their wives deal with the children when they were young, but even here fathers varied on how they exercized their authority. As a boy got older, his father would play an increasingly important role in his upbringing, including the selection of clothes. I have not yet drafted the essay on fathers, but have begun to collect some information.
In the early modern era, the thesis of parental cruelty is well
countered in Ralph Houlbrooke, The English Family, 1450-1700 (Longman
1984), and Keith Wrightson, English Society, 1580-1680 (Hutchinson,
For the Reformation era, Steven Ozment is forceful in When Fathers
Ruled: Family Life in Reformation Europe (Harvard U.p., 1983), and
there is Louis Haas, The Renaissance Man and his Children....Floence,
1300-1600 (Macmillan, 1998).
Medieval times? counterblasts to Aries in B. Hanawalt, The Ties that
Bound and S. Shahar, Children in the Middle Ages (1990).
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