Domestic Culture in Early Modern England

October 2015
98 black and white, 40 line illustrations
324 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History
ISBN: 9781783270415
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037040

Domestic Culture in Early Modern England

Antony Buxton

A detailed study of the domestic life of the early modern, non-elite household
This book is a detailed study of the domestic life of the early modern, non-elite household, focussing on the Oxfordshire market town of Thame. Going beyond the exploration of the domestic economy and trends in living standards and consumption, it shows how close examination of the material context within which the household operated can provide evidence of its habitual activities, the relationships between its members, and the values that informed both. The book uses a familiar source, the probate inventory, supplemented by other contemporary written and pictorial evidence, to reveal how activities in the household were directly related to the agricultural, mercantile, and social environment. It illustrates the variable and shifting nature of social relationships and shows how the early modern household was part of the wider economic and social narrative of modernism and how it responded to altered modes of production and consumption, social allegiances, and ideologies. Offering new perspectives to reinvigorate the discussion of domestic relationships and rigorously examine the vexed question of change, Domestic Culture in Early Modern England will be of interest to scholars and postgraduate students of material culture as well as historians of the household and family more generally.

ANTONY BUXTON lectures on design history, material and domestic culture for the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford and other institutions. He has published articles in various scholarly journals and holds a PhD from the University of Oxford.

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Table of Contents

The Thame Household in Context
The Early Modern Household in Context
Foodstuff Provisioning, Processing and Cooking
Commensality and Conviviality
Rest and Security
The 'Practice' and Domestic Culture of the Thame Household
Thame Households


Will be useful to historians of family life and design history. OXONIENSIA

Antony Buxton's book is a timely one. It is focused on domestic life in early modern England--a subject of immense social and political importance which occasioned much contemporary comment as the foundation of patriarchal authority, but which has been little written about by historians of the period. H-ALBION

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