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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library

This book provides a broad-ranging and accessible coverage of the role of noble women in medieval England. Throughout the Middle Ages the men and women of the nobility and gentry occupied a position at the top of the social hierarchy. Marriage for noble and gentry children was arranged by their families, with the participation on occasion of their lords and of the king, and it was relatively rare for the children themselves to take matters into their own hands. As with marriage, the woman's relationship to her husband and children has to be seen within the framework of canon and common law, the Church being concerned with the marriage itself, and the royal courts with property. The crucial importance of land as the source of wealth for noble and gentry society has been underlined in the discussion of both marriage and the family. Women's landholding is well documented, the amount of land in their hands varying according to the accidents of birth and fortune. The household was the centre and hub of the lady's life and activities, and can be regarded as a community in its own right. Men and women of the nobility and gentry living in the world were encouraged to practise their religion through attendance at Mass, private prayer on behalf of themselves and the dead, works of charity, pilgrimage, and material support of the Church. Although many women's lives followed a conventional pattern, great variety existed within family relationships, and individuality can also be seen in religious practices and patronage. Piety could take a number of different forms, whether a woman became a nun, a vowess or a noted philanthropist and benefactor to religious institutions.

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Jennifer Ward

Lincoln in c . 1241; he emphasised that the tone of the household was set by the lady who was in overall charge. Most knowledge of the household is derived from household accounts and wills; household accounts are first found in the 1180s and become more numerous after c . 1250. The term covers a wide variety of records, all throwing light on different aspects of

in Women of the English Nobility and Gentry, 1066-1500
Open Access (free)
Science in the eighteenth-century home

A culture of curiosity illuminates the home as an environment uniquely conducive to scientific enquiry in the eighteenth-century British world. Drawing on diverse manuscript sources, from household accounts to life writing, Leonie Hannan shows that scientific practices grew from the conditions and labour of home. In doing so, her study challenges traditional assumptions about the ‘Enlightenment’ and illuminates a diverse population of eighteenth-century scientists. Collectively, they represent a vibrant culture of curiosity that has evaded the historian’s eye. Structured in three parts, the book begins with an examination of the home itself. The second part analyses a series of domestic practices through the lives of diarists, letter-writers, collectors, star-gazers and experimenters. The book culminates with an exploration of what scientific enquiry meant to these people and considers the ramifications of their activities for larger histories of intellectual life. The analysis reveals the way little-known scientists constructed their own investigative authority, staking claim to enquiry as a facet of personal identity. A culture of curiosity offers an intellectual history from below. The findings suggest that lower-status scientists were not just ignored, but their work was also misunderstood with far-reaching consequences. The book therefore argues for a decisive break with dualist framings of knowledge-making, which serve to distort the interpretation of intellectual culture at large. By rejecting the limiting associations of ‘domestic life’, this book re-imagines a culture of enquiry populated by apprentices and housewives as much as Fellows of the Royal Society.

Leonie Hannan

oeconomical productivity was always tethered to other social and moral imperatives and did not imply the maximisation of profit at the expense of these considerations. 7 In this way, surviving household accounts reveal the remnants of an interesting network of related concerns, concerns that focused on the everyday management of material resources but which had the rather larger

in A culture of curiosity
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The material and visual culture of the Stuart Courts, 1589–1619

This book analyses Anna of Denmark’s material and visual patronage at the Stuart courts, examining her engagement with a wide array of expressive media including architecture, garden design, painting, music, dress, and jewellery. Encompassing Anna’s time in Denmark, England, and Scotland, it establishes patterns of interest and influence in her agency, while furthering our knowledge of Baltic-British transfer in the early modern period. Substantial archival work has facilitated a formative re-conceptualisation of James and Anna’s relationship, extended our knowledge of the constituents of consortship in the period, and has uncovered evidence to challenge the view that Anna followed the cultural accomplishments of her son, Prince Henry. This book reclaims Anna of Denmark as the influential and culturally active royal woman that her contemporaries knew. Combining politics, culture, and religion across the courts of Denmark, Scotland, and England, it enriches our understanding of royal women’s roles in early modern patriarchal societies and their impact on the development of cultural modes and fashions. This book will be of interest to upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses on early modern Europe in the disciplines of Art and Architectural History, English Literature, Theatre Studies, History, and Gender Studies. It will also attract a wide range of academics working on early modern material and visual culture, and female patronage, while members of the public who enjoy the history of courts and the British royals will also find it distinctively appealing.

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A New Naval History brings together the most significant and interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary naval history. The last few decades have witnessed a transformation in how this topic is researched and understood, and this volume captures the state of a field that continues to develop apace. It examines – through the prism of naval affairs – issues of nationhood and imperialism; the legacy of Nelson; the sociocultural realities of life in ships and naval bases; and the processes of commemoration, journalism and stage-managed pageantry that plotted the interrelationship of ship and shore. This bold and original publication will be essential for undergraduate and postgraduate students of naval and maritime history. Beyond that, though, it marks an important intervention into wider historiographies that will be read by scholars from across the spectrum of social history, cultural studies and the analysis of national identity.

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P. J. P. Goldberg

‘Childhood’ [3] deposition of Eufemia the wife of John; ‘Law and custom’ [21], [22], [23a], [24]. 1. Household accounts. Language: English. Translated from Stevenson, ed., Report of the Manuscripts of Lord Middleton. [1521] Also, the Thursday, the 2nd day of April [sic] to the women that gathered for Our Lady’s light at Middleton, 4 d

in Women in England c. 1275–1525
Telling stories from the Cavendish financial accounts
Alison Wiggins

Especially relevant here are Judith M. Spicksley, The Business and Household Accounts of Joyce Jeffreys Spinster of Hereford 1638–48 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); Whittle and Griffiths, Consumption and Gender; and outputs from the project Producing Change: Gender and Work in Early Modern Europe, (accessed 13 June 2018). A summary that compares quantitative and qualitative approaches to materiality, from which this chapter benefits, is provided by Richardson, ‘Written texts’, especially, pp. 43–4. 66 Bess of Hardwick: new

in Bess of Hardwick