The common theme of this selection of articles by David Cressy, published over the last twenty-five years, is the linkage of elite and popular culture and the participation of ordinary people in the central events of their age. The collection also traces a development in historical style and method, from quantitative applications using statistics to qualitative telling of tales. Seven essays under the heading 'Opportunities' explore problems of education, literacy and cultural attainment within the gendered and hierarchically ordered society of Elizabeth and Stuart England. Eight more under the heading 'Passages' examine social and cultural interactions, kinship, migration, community celebrations, and rituals in the life-cycle. The collection brings together a coherent body of research that is much cited in current scholarship and continues to shape the agenda for the social and cultural history of early modern England.
'These essays, with not a light-weight filler among them, gathered together in this valuable collection unfailingly demonstrate a relentless curiosity, a lively imagination, cool judgement, and a determination to seek convincing answers to difficult questions. They reveal massive research foundations, an enviable capacity for synthesis, and a commitment to interdisciplinary which will recommend itself to readers of this journal.' Literature and History 'Collected now in one volume, Cressy's disparate articles, given the breadth of their subject matter, should appeal to students of almost any aspect of Tudor and Stuart England.' Sixteenth Century Journal
Contents: Preface; Opportunities: Describing the social order of Elizabethan and Stuart England; Levels of illiteracy in England 1530-1730; Literacy in context: meaning and measurement in early modern England; Books as totems in 17th century England and New England; Educational opportunity in Tudor and Stuart England; Francis Bacon and the advancement of schooling; A drudgery of schoolmasters: the teaching profession in Elizabethan and Stuart England; Passages: The vast and furious ocean: the passage to Puritan New England; The seasonality of marriage in Old and New England; Kinship and kin interaction in early modern England; Purification, thanksgiving, and the churching of women in post-reformation England; Gender trouble and cross-dressing in Early Modern England; Death and the social order: the funerary preferences of Elizabethan gentlemen; Binding the nation: the Bonds of Association, 1584 and 1696; The Protestant calendar and the vocabulary of celebration in early modern England; Index.
The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.
The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.
Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource.
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