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Social Relationships

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Discussion Topics and Essay Titles

Social Relations

  • What role did kinship play in the lives of early modern Europeans?
  • Why did social status matter in early modern Europe?
  • How did early modern people display their status
  • What individuals or groups were maginalised in the period and why?


**NOTE: Some eresources are accessible only on-campus or via off-campus proxies or the athens service**





Social Relations

Social Relations

Secondary Literature

Selected Key Texts

Social Status and Social Relations
  • R. Asch, Nobilities in Transition 1550-1700: Courtiers and Rebels in Britain and Europe (2003)
  • P Burke, ‘The Language of Orders in Early Modern Europe’, in M.L. Bush (ed.), Social Orders and Social Classes in Europe Since 1500: Studies in Social Stratification (London, 1992), pp.1-13.
  • S. Clark, State and Status: The Rise of the State and Aristocratic Power in Western Europe (1995)
  • A. Fletcher and J. Stevenson, eds, Order and Disorder in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 92-115 (ebook)
  • Hindle, 'Rural Society', in B. Kumin ed., European World (2009)
  • V.G. Kiernan, The Duel in European History: Honour and the Reign of Aristocracy (Oxford, 1988)

Further Reading

a) General Reading
  • J. Dewald, The European Nobility 1400-1800 (1996)
  • H. Kamen, Early Modern European Society (2000)
  • M. Wiesner-Hanks, Early Modern Europe, chapters 2/8 on ‘Individuals in Society’
  • Withington, P., Society in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2010)
  • K. Wrightson, English Society 1580-1680, (2002)
b) Social Status and Social Relations

c) The Poor

T. Fehler, Poor Relief and Protestantism: The Evolution of Social Welfare in Sixteenth-Century Emden (1999)
S. Hindle, On the Parish: The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England 1550-1750 (2004)
S. Hindle, 'Power, Poor Relief, and Social Relations in Holland Fen, c. 1600-1800,' in The Historical Journal, vol. 41, no. 1 (1998)
R. Hsia, Social Discipline in the Reformation: Central Europe 1550-1750 (1989)
O. Hufton, The Poor of Eighteenth-Century France (1974)
L. Martz, Poverty and Welfare in Habsburg Spain: The Example of Toledo (1983) (ebook)
B. Pullan, Rich and Poor in Renaissance Venice: The Social Institutions of a Catholic State (1971) (ebook)
B. Pullan, 'Support and redeem: charity and poor relief in Italian cities from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century', Continuity and Change 3, special issue 2 (1988), 177-208.
O. P. Grell et al. (eds), Health care and Poor Relief in Counter-Reformation Europe (1999)
O. P. Grell and A. Cunningham, Health Care and Poor Relief in Protestant Europe, 1500-1700 (1997) (ebook)
P. Slack, Poverty and Policy in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1998)

d) Other Groups (esp. sexual deviants, vagrants and lepers)

P.L. Allen, The Wages of Sin: Sex and Disease, Past and Present (Chicago, 2000), esp. chaps. 2-4

A.L. Beier, Masterless Men: the Vagrancy Problem in England, 1560-1640 (1985)

", 'Vagrants and the Social Order in Elizabethan England,' Past and Present, 64 (Aug., 1974)

C. Bingham, ‘Seventeenth-Century Attitudes Toward Deviant Sex’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 1, no. 3 (1971), 447-68.J.K. Brackett, ‘The Florentine Onesta and the Control of Prostitution, 1403-1680’, SCJ, 24 (1993)

E.S. Cohen, ‘Seen and Known: Prostitutes in the Cityscape of Late-Sixteenth-Century Rome’, Renaissance Studies, 12, no. 3 (Sept., 1998)

B.M. Donovan, ‘Changing Perceptions of Social Deviance: Gypsies in Early Modern Portugal and Brazil’, Journal of Social History, 26 (1992)

F. Egmond, Underworlds: Organized Crime in the Netherlands, 1650-1800 (1993)

Griffiths, ‘The Structure of Prostitution in Elizabethan London’, Continuity and Change, 8, no. 1 (1993), 39-63

Milner, Stephen J., ed., At the Margins: minority groups in premodern Italy (Minneapolis, 2005), esp. ch 4.

W.G. Naphy, Sex Crimes: Renaissance to Enlightenment (2002)

K. O'Donnell and M. O'Rourke (eds), Queer Masculinities, 1550-1800: Siting Same Sex Desire in the Early Modern World (2006) (e-book)

M.E. Perry, ‘Deviant Insiders: Legalized Prostitutes and a Consciousness of Women in Early Modern Seville’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 27, no. 1 (1985), 138-158

P.A. Russell, ‘Syphilis: God’s Scourge or Nature’s Vengeance?’, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 80 (1989), 286-306 [available as print journal in the Library]

K. Stuart, Defiled Trades and Social Outcasts: Honour and Ritual Pollution in Early Modern Germany (1999)

L. Woodbridge, Vagrancy, Homelessness, and English Renaissance Literature (2001)

e) Non-Christian minorities, esp. Jews and Muslims

M. Bodian, ‘“Men of the Nation”: The Shaping of Converso Identity in Early Modern Europe’, Past and Present, 143 (1994)

B. Braude & B. Lewis, Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society (New York, 1982)

J. Casey, Early Modern Spain: a Social History (1999), esp. chapter 10 (ebook)

A. Chejne, Islam and the West: the Moriscos, a Cultural and Social History (1983)

N. Fiering & P. Bernardini (eds), The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450-1800 (2001)

M. Goldish (ed.), Jewish Questions: Responsa on Sephardic Life in the Early Modern Period (Princeton, 2008) [Primary Sources Collection] (ebook) L.P. Harvey, Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614 (2006) (ebook)

A. Hess,‘The Moriscos: an Ottoman fifth column’, American Historical Review 74 (1968-9)

J.I. Israel, European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750 (1985)

M. Jonsonn, ‘The Expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain in 1609-1614: the Destruction of an Islamic Periphery’, Journal of Global History 2 (2007)

H.C. Lea, The Moriscos of Spain: Their Conversion and Expulsion (1968) (ebook)

A. Levy, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire (Princeton, 1994)B. Lewis, Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Age of Discovery (1995) (ebook)

M.E. Perry, The Handless Maiden: Moriscos and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Spain (Princeton, 2005) (ebooK)

B. Pullan, The Jews of Europe and the Inquisition of Venice, 1550-1670 (London, 1997)C. Roth, A History of the Marranos (1974)

M. Teter, Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland: A Beleaguered Church in the Post-Reformation Era (2006) (eb

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External Links

  • Early Modern English Social History - documents introducing key themes in the social, economic and cultural history of England between c.1500 and 1700
  • My-Parish - online portal for researchers interested in parishes and their histories.