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Skipwith and Anktill

David Wootton: Tudor Microhistory

10 August 2000
Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Oxford, 351 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 19 820781 6
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A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law, and the Second Earl of Castlehaven 
by Cynthia Herrup.
Oxford, 216 pp., £18.99, December 1999, 0 19 512518 5
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... Both David Cressy and Cynthia Herrup believe they are writing microhistory, a word coined by Italians, but used to describe above all the work of Natalie Zemon Davis (The Return of Martin Guerre, 1983) and Robert Darnton (The Great Cat Massacre, 1984). Microhistorians have turned to the verbatim records of interrogations kept in the law courts of early modern Europe (or at least those parts of Europe where Roman law procedures were followed) to reconstruct the detailed stories of individual trials ...

Counting signatures

Christopher Hill

22 January 1981
Literacy and the Social Order: Reading and Writing in Tudor and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Cambridge, 246 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 521 22514 0
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... This is the first full-scale study of literacy in 16th and 17th-century England. Dr Cressy has long been known to scholars for his work on the subject: here he gives us his conclusions. For the whole of his period, he thinks, about two out of three adult males, and about 90 per cent of women, were illiterate. Proportions varied from region to region ...

The Vicar of Chippenham

Christopher Haigh: Religion and the life-cycle

15 October 1998
Birth, Marriage and Death: Ritual, Religion and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Oxford, 641 pp., £25, May 1998, 0 19 820168 0
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... visitation complaints and defamation suits, and the answers have always been ‘it all depends.’ David Cressy’s excellent book suggests a different approach, examining conflicts over ritual and offering stories rather than statistics. Despite Coverdale, Gouge and the Admonition, a wedding was not only a religious ceremony, but the culmination of weeks ...

Protestant Country

George Bernard

14 June 1990
Humanism, Reform and the Reformation: The Career of Bishop John Fisher 
edited by Brendan Bradshaw and Eamon Duffy.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £27.50, January 1989, 0 521 34034 9
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The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation 
by Robert Whiting.
Cambridge, 302 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 521 35606 7
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The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 
by Stanford Lehmberg.
Princeton, 319 pp., £37.30, March 1989, 0 691 05539 4
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Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Weidenfeld, 271 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 297 79343 8
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The Birthpangs of Protestant England: Religious and Cultural Change in the 16th and 17th Centuries 
by Patrick Collinson.
Macmillan, 188 pp., £29.50, February 1989, 0 333 43971 6
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Life’s Preservative against Self-Killing 
by John Sym, edited by Michael MacDonald.
Routledge, 342 pp., £29.95, February 1989, 0 415 00639 2
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Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660 
by Nigel Smith.
Oxford, 396 pp., £40, February 1989, 0 19 812879 7
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... in 1650 was marked by Royal Oak Day – 29 May. By drawing profusely on churchwardens’ accounts, David Cressy attempts to illustrate the relative impact of these occasions – though it is not always clear what, if anything, can be concluded from differences in payments. Such difficulties are not overcome by the author’s tendency to slip into ...

Remember Me

John Bossy: Hamlet

24 May 2001
Hamlet in Purgatory 
by Stephen Greenblatt.
Princeton, 322 pp., £19.95, May 2001, 0 691 05873 3
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... as well as more representative of the state of 16th-century history: Natalie Zemon Davis, David Cressy, Eamon Duffy. More privately, there is the story he tells us in his prologue about his acceding, if sheepishly, to the unspoken wishes of his dead father by saying Kaddish for him. Which seems a more human response than his refusal, recorded in ...

Floreat Eltona

David Starkey

19 January 1984
Tudor Rule and Revolution: Essays for G.R. Elton from his American Friends 
edited by DeLloyd Guth and John McKenna.
Cambridge, 418 pp., £27.50, February 1983, 0 521 24841 8
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Essays on Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government. Vol III: Papers and Reviews 1973-1981 
by G.R. Elton.
Cambridge, 512 pp., £27.50, March 1983, 0 521 24893 0
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Which road to the past? Two Views of History 
by Robert William Fogel and G.R. Elton.
Yale, 136 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 300 03011 8
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...  ...

Identity Parade

Linda Colley

25 February 1993
People and Places: Country House Donors and the National Trust 
by James Lees-Milne.
Murray, 232 pp., £19.99, October 1992, 0 7195 5145 5
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The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660-1769 
by Michael Dobson.
Oxford, 266 pp., £30, October 1992, 0 19 811233 5
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Myths of the English 
edited by Roy Porter.
Polity, 280 pp., £39.50, October 1992, 0 7456 0844 2
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Fields of Vision: Landscape Imagery and National Identity in England and the United States 
by Stephen Daniels.
Polity, 257 pp., £39.50, November 1992, 0 7456 0450 1
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... to the Bard in Westminster Abbey as a way of advertising their superior patriotism. The actor David Garrick also used the Bard to inflate and dignify his own career, puffing him as the nation’s number-one playwright – just like Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh would go on to do – as a means of representing himself as its number-one actor. He had ...

Ruling the Roast

David A. Bell: A Nation of Beefeaters

25 September 2003
Beef and Liberty: Roast Beef, John Bull and the English Nation 
by Ben Rogers.
Chatto, 207 pp., £17.99, April 2003, 9780701169800
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... beef and mutton: This was the Diet which bred that hearty Race of Mortals who won the Fields of Cressy and Agincourt . . . The Renown’d King Arthur is generally looked upon as the first who ever sat down to a whole roasted Ox (which was certainly the best way to preserve the Gravy), and it is further added that he and his Knights sat about it at his Round ...

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