Consumption and Culture in Sixteenth-Century Ireland

Consumption and Culture in Sixteenth-Century Ireland

Saffron, Stockings and Silk

Susan Flavin


Boydell Press



A detailed study of changing patterns of consumption, showing how these related to wider political, social and economic developments.
This book, based on extensive original research, argues that everyday Irish consumption underwent major changes in the 16th century. The book considers the changing nature of imported goods in relation especially to two major activities of daily living: dress and diet. It integrates quantitative data on imports with qualitative sources, including wills, archaeological and pictorial evidence, and contemporary literature and legislation. It shows that changes in Irish consumption mirrored changes occurring in England and across Europe and that they were a function of broader developments in the Irish economy, including the increasing participation of Irish merchants in European markets. The book also discusses how consumption was related to wider political, economic and cultural developments in Ireland, showing how the acquisition and interpretation of material goods were key factors in the mediation of political and social boundaries in a semi-colonised and contested society.

Susan Flavin completed her doctorate in early modern history at the University of Bristol.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782044093), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


November 2014
14 black and white, 22 line illustrations
319 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Irish Historical Monographs
ISBN: 9781843839507
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS018000, BUS023000, HIS037030
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Subject and Sources
The Expanding Trade
The Dynamics of the Trade
Consuming Fashion
From Head to Toe
Wearing, Making and Embellishing
Colour and Cleanliness
Food, Drink and Society
The Grape and the Grain
Cooking and Dining
Drinking and Entertainment


A much-needed reference point for early modern social and economic history in Ireland. CULTURAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY

[A] significant and engaging book.. An important book. HISTORY

[A]n engaging and well-written work that opens up and encourages the exploration of many avenues for the further study of early modern Ireland as well as providing food for thought for those working on other countries. JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES

This groundbreaking study of consumption patterns in sixteenth-century Ireland successfully challenges a long-established assumption that the island's economy was essentially underdeveloped during this century. RENAISSANCE QUARTERLY

The study of Irish social and economic history under the Tudors has been limited to a few monographs over the past century, and the new book by Susan Flavin describing consumption and culture is a welcome addition to this meager archive. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL

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