A Day at Home in Early Modern England
Material Culture and Domestic Life, 1500-1700
Imprint: Paul Mellon Centre
This fascinating book offers the first sustained investigation of the complex relationship between the middling sort and their domestic space in the tumultuous, rapidly changing culture of early modern England. Presented in an innovative and engaging narrative form that follows the pattern of a typical day from early morning through the middle of the night, A Day at Home in Early Modern England examines the profound influence that the domestic material environment had on structuring and expressing modes of thought and behaviour of relatively ordinary people. With a multidisciplinary approach that takes both extant objects and documentary sources into consideration, Tara Hamling and Catherine Richardson recreate the layered complexity of lived household experience and explore how a family’s investment in rooms, decoration, possessions, and provisions served to define not only their status, but the social, commercial, and religious concerns that characterised their daily existence.
"This is a large and magnificently produced book, with beautiful, full-color photographs on almost every page. . . . Every scholar whose work touches on domestic life in early modern England should read it."—Eleanor Hubbard, Early Modern Women
"The clever structure and engaging enthusiasm of the book...give it an immediately accessible shape and an unflaggingly enjoyable pace. [The] interdisciplinary partnership makes for a genuinely innovative and illuminating book."—Fara Dabhoiwala, The New York Review of Books
"The judicious use of court records, and citation of other scholars’ work, adds authority to the exposition. The authors are widely read in primary and secondary sources, and well served by their publisher in what could be a coffee-table book...The integration of archival, architectural, and textual material is one of its most effective features."—David Cressy, Renaissance Quarterly
"This is a book that rests on an ocean of contemporary material. . .It yokes the physical household and the domestic space of 'middling' men and women with their social, psychological, and spiritual lives as lived in and around that space."—J.T. Rosenthal, Choice Connect