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Social History of England, 1500-1700 (HI209): Module Bibliography

The core text for the class is Keith Wrightson, English Society, 1580-1680. Copies are available in the library and both new and used paperback copies are easy to find. In addition, you will be assigned one to three articles or chapters each week, which we will discuss in detail during the seminars. Listed below are the readings for each week's seminar.

Autumn Term: Living the Early Modern World

  1. Week One: Introduction: Social Order
    • K. Wrightson, “Sorts of People,” in The Middling Sort of People (1994)
    • A. Shepard & J. Spicksley, “Worth, age, and social status in early modern England,” Economic History Review (2011)
  2. Week Two: Gender
    • C. Peters, Women in Early Modern Britain, 1450-1650, ch. 1-2
    • A. Shepherd, “Manhood, Credit, and Patriarchy in Early Modern England, c. 1580-1640,” Past and Present (May, 2000)
  3. Week Three: Birth, Marriage, and Death
    • P. Griffiths, “Adolescence and youth in early modern England,” Continuity and Change (1995)
  4. Week Four: Education and Literacy
    • D. Cressy, “The dynamics of illiteracy,” in Literacy and the Social Order
    • R. O’Day, “Social Change in the History of Education: Perspectives on the Emergence of Learned Professions in England, c. 1500-1800,” in Social Change in the History of British Education (2008)
  5. Week Five: Poverty and the Poor Laws
    • S. Hindle, “Power, Poor Relief, and Social Relations in Holland Fen, c. 1600-1800,” in The Historical Journal (1998)
    • A. Beier, “Vagrants and the Social Order in Elizabethan England,” Past and Present (Feb., 1974)
  6. Week Six: Reading Week
  7. Week Seven: Disease and Medicine
    • M. Dobson, “Contours of death; contours of health,” in Contours of Death and Disease in Early Modern England (2010)
  8. Week Eight: Witchcraft
    • K. Thomas, “Witchcraft and its Social Environment,” in Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971)
  9. Week Nine: Crime
    • D. Hay, “Property, Authority, and the Criminal Law,” in Albion’s Fatal Tree (1975)
    • C. Herrup, “Law and Morality in Seventeenth-Century England,” Past and Present (Feb., 1985)
  10. Week Ten: Immigration and Migration
    • N. Goose, “Xenophobia in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England,” in Immigrants in Tudor and Early Stuart England (2005)
    • M. Lockwood, “Immigration and the Criminal Law in Early Modern England,” Continuity and Change (2014)


Spring Term: The Collective Life of Early Modern England

  1. Week One: Ritual and Festive Culture
    • D. Underdown, “Cultural Conflict,” in Revel, Riot, and Rebellion (1985)
    • B. Reay, “Festive Drama and Ritual,” in Popular Cultures in England, 1550-1750 (1998)
  2. Week Two: Religion I: The Reformation
    • E. Shagan, Popular Politics and the English Reformation, Introduction (2003)
    • E. Duffy, “Corporate Christians,” in The Stripping of the Altars (1992)
  3. Week Three: Rural Society and Agrarian Change
    • A. McRae, “Agrarian communism” in God Speed the Plough (1996)
  4. Week Four: Riot and Rebellion
    • J. Walter, “The Politics of Protest in Seventeenth-Century England,” in Crowd Actions in Britain and France (2015)
    • A. Wood, “Subordination, Solidarity and the Limits of Popular Agency in a Yorkshire Valley,” Past and Present (Nov., 2006)
  5. Week Five: London and Urban Society
    • C. Chalklin, “The rise of urban England, 1650-1750,” in The Rise of the English Town.
    • P. Griffiths, “Streets,” Lost Londons (2008)
  6. Week Six: Reading Week
  7. Week Seven: Religion II: The Civil Wars
    • A. Bradstock, Radical Religion in Cromwell’s England, Introduction and selections (2011)
  8. Week Eight: Settling the New World
    • V. deJohn Anderson, “Transplantation,” in New England’s Generation (1991)
  9. Week Nine: Consumption and Industriousness
    • L. Levy Peck, “Luxury and War: Reconsidering Luxury Consumption in Seventeenth-Century England,” Albion (2002)
    • C. Muldrew, “Agricultural labour and the industrious revolution,” in Food, Energy, and the Creation of Industriousness (2011)
  10. Week Ten: The Rise of the Public Sphere
    • B. Cowan, “The Rise of the Coffeehouse Reconsidered,” The Historical Journal (2004)


Summer Term

  1. Week One: Reflections: The Growth of the State in Early Modern English Society
    • M. Braddick, State Formation in Early Modern England, Part I (2000)
  2. Week Two: Revision Session