Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia 1st Edition

16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195144796
ISBN-10: 0195144791
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Rent
$13.00
Buy used
$15.95
Buy new
$19.85
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$31.14
Paperback, November 28, 2002
"Please retry"
$19.85
$17.97 $4.71
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$12.00
More Buying Choices
24 New from $17.97 48 Used from $4.71
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


InterDesign Brand Store Awareness Rent Textbooks
$19.85 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia + Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series
Price for both: $34.80

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Pagan's Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and the Lawin Early Virginia spin engaging yarns that tie together the best of recent scholarship while also interweaving fresh historical questions and issues....the kind of work tailor-made to grip and hold the imaginations of undergraduates in early American survey courses everywhere."--Reviews in American History


"Four cases provide the basis for John Ruston Pagan's intelligent and highly readable book." --Virginia Magazine of History and Biography


"superb analysis of the colony's nascent social, economic, and judicial structures. . . . terrific scholarship that adds significantly to historians' understanding of early Virginia. . . . Microhistories succeed when their case studies illuminate larger themes; at their best, the stories they tell rate as literature. John Pagan scores on both counts."- The Journal of Southern History


"John Pagan's subtle and sophisticated research and analysis and his lucid and evocative writing bring to life these Virginians of 350 years ago. The character sketches of the servants, justices of the peace, planters, jurors, and of Anne Orthwood and her lover are gems of historical writing....[An] excellent book."--Richmond Times-Dispatch


About the Author


John Ruston Pagan is a Professor in the School of Law at the University of Richmond, Virginia.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195144791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195144796
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.7 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Marcus on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Prof. John Ruston Pagan has plucked a young 17th Century woman from deepest obscurity to become the subject of his book: Anne Orthwood's Bastard : Sex and Law in Early Virginia. This is a scholarly effort - it is heavily footnoted and supported by a large bibliography - and a first-rate work of investigation and authorship. Central to Anne Orthwood's detailed history was the availability of original records from the earliest days of English settlement in America. These records are preserved in an old courthouse on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Dating from 1632, they are said to be the oldest English-language court records in America.

First a word about "bastard." Today, it is little more than a curse word. As recently as the 1930s, however, it was still imprinted on birth certificates and, as in 1632, described a child born out of wedlock. In 1632, however, bastardy was considered a serious breach of morals, as well, and was deeply resented for the costs it might impose on taxpayers and church parishioners. Caring for bastards was provided for in detail by church and state law. Someone must pay for the midwife, lying-in expenses, wet nurse, etc. and fund the child's early years. That person was the putative father, if he could be discovered, and if he had any money. Failing that, the church and state stepped in. Punishment, too, must be portioned out upon the mother and father for their immoral behavior - and shame would burden the blameless child.

Anne is, herself, born out of wedlock. Rather than bear the humiliating penance the church imposes, Anne's mother escapes to the city of Bristol. That city just happens to be England's western port and the jumping-off point for the New World.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Janice Moore on April 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This scholarly work of legal history comes in a surprising package -- a gripping tale of early Virginia families and early colonial life and the economy. What a great way to learn about the development of American laws and their foundations!! It is so well written that I didn't want it to end.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James Schuyler on February 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading John Pagan's amazing true story of life in colonial Virginia and it reveals so much about life during a period that is little understood in our nation's history. After giving us the facts in the introduction, he unveils the history and its implications as each chapter focuses on one individual who was crucial to the events and the four legal actions which resulted from these events. The detective work has been done for you by the author who spent his summer researching every minute detail that exists--you just sit back and enjoy the tale! It is a great read and an astute portrait of a slice of Virginia life in the 1660s to 1680s--and gives us much to think about as the colonies began to establish a unique American legal system adapted from English law. It also gives us a sense of how "sex" was regulated by government at that time, and how legal decisions relate to social and economic realities of life. It is amazing that this little vignette of forgotten lives is so interesting to read about today and brings up issues of privacy, government regulation, and how courts consider society's social and economic goals--issues that resonate with judicial decisions that are being made today. So please read and enjoy and think about Anne and her son Jasper Orthwood. I think they would be very pleasantly surprised to know that their story is being retold in 21st Century America!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Otis on February 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
This incisive work illuminates Virginia's colonial history in personal detail: legal procedures, community structures, and economic and political relationships. Researching primary sources, Professor Pagan brings the narrative to life with persuasive insights into decisions and events as the participants must have planned them: their ambitions, fears, successes, and failures. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in social or legal history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Balforth on February 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Excellent, well-writen and very entertaining! Mr. Pagan's book covers a lot of ground, detailing a series of related trials that define the foundations of American justice. A++++
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By katy888 on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was very helpful in research of family history. Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and the Law in Early Virigina was very enlighting "WHO KNEW'
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Unholier Than Thou on September 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book for a college class and, holy cow, is it good. Pagan uses a series of court cases arising from a tryst in early colonial Virginia to open a window into the culture then under construction. The colonial authorities either modified or enforced English law in a manner deemed appropriate for the new environment they found themselves in. How and why they did it is extremely fascinating. Pagan mentions in his conclusion that the underlying story is operatic in its dimensions and he isn't lying. The text is a slim 150 pages so this would be a perfect book to buy for people who want to introduce themselves or their lives ones to the joys of historical scholarship. It is interesting enough for the lay reader and meaty enough for professional historians.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like history books and enjoy the unusual angle which this author takes to discuss politics and culture in the early colonial period. The book is easy to read and generally kept my interest piqued. There were a few times where I felt that the author was rambling a bit and over analyzing a particular point but that never last for more than a couple of pages before it turned interesting again. One thing I had not anticipated is just how much the book focuses on law, including the development of common laws and statutes and discussion on how the local courts came to be, and how judges and jurors were selected, with lots of case examples used for context. Notwithstanding the title, I had not expected that law was the primary topic of the book, which it really is - the story of Anne Orthwood is more secondary.

Overall, I do feel this book added to my knowledge and understanding of the past in a way that other history books do not. It reinforced a lot of what I have already learned about the time period, and added other insight. For example, there was quite a bit (relatively speaking, given the small populations) of unmarried sexual encounters in 1600s, and often the fathers would deny paternity and (if the mother died or was poor) leave the child to be sent off to involuntary servitude while still an infant. So, in essence, lots of children grew up having no parents and no family to call their own - I had not thought of that happening in the late 1600's. Strange how men would place so much emphasis on family and religion, and at the same time completely abandon their own child because admitting to a sexual encounter with a lower class female would hurt their reputation.

Overall, highly recommended. While it was not a book that I 'could not put down'- it was one that I looked forward to reading each evening until I finished.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia
This item: Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia
Price: $19.85
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: colonial law in america