Books on manners became so popular during the Elizabethan period that it was only a matter of time before someone satirized them.
Posts By: Karen Lyon
“Manners maketh man” was the motto of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Would your own table manners pass inspection?
In Shakespeare’s England, those wearing clothes adjudged to be above their station were subject to fines or imprisonment under sumptuary laws.
Renaissance fashion was unquestionably distinctive, especially among the upper class, who favored clothing with luxurious fabrics and dramatic silhouettes.
Education was increasingly important in the early modern period with the rise of social mobility, but children were also put to work around the household.
What did people think about childhood and parenting in early modern England? Did parents express fondness for their children? How did they discipline them?
The Ancient Greeks may hold the franchise on Olympic wrestling—but how would they have fared against a 17th-century British shin-kicker? In 1612 in the tiny village of Chipping Campden, Robert Dover opened the first Cotswold Olympicks, ushering in a new sporting tradition that revived the Olympic spirit and laid the foundation for the modern… Continue Reading »
Q: I know about Queen Elizabeth I’s summer progresses, but how did ordinary people spend their summers in Shakespeare’s time? A: For most Elizabethans, summer presented little opportunity for a vacation from regular work routines. There were still farms to tend, boots to cobble, and chickens to pluck. But all was not drudgery. Hearthside amusements such… Continue Reading »
You thought you had packing woes—imagine trying to cram a whole palace-full of goods into carts for a summer-long jaunt through the English countryside! Yet this is just what Queen Elizabeth I’s staff did almost two dozen times during her 44-year reign, as she and her court took to the highways for her seasonal progresses…. Continue Reading »
The Twelve Days of Christmas, from December 25 to January 6, was the longest and most enthusiastically celebrated festival in the Elizabethan calendar. On Christmas Eve, people decorated with evergreens, ivy, and holly, burned a Yule log, sang carols, and visited neighbors. Wassail was dispensed by groups who carried the cauldron of beer and roasted… Continue Reading »