Mary Beth Norton


On her book Separated by their Sex: Women in Public and Private in the Colonial Atlantic World

Cover Interview of June 14, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“The gendered public-private divide originated in eighteenth-century England.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

”John Dunton was the first man to term the female realm of the household private.”

On the second:

”I now cringe whenever I read something that purports to describe the “private” realm in medieval Europe, for example. We shouldn’t employ such terms when writing about historical eras before the gendered notion of the private existed.”