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Sociability and Power in Late Stuart England

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Sociability and Power in Late Stuart England

The Cultural Worlds of the Verneys 1660-1720


Paperback / softback

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Sociability and Power in Late Stuart England by Susan E. Whyman
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This highly original study looks at rituals of sociability in new and creative ways. Based upon thousands of personal letters, it reconstructs the changing country and London worlds of an English gentry family, and reveals intimate details about the social and cultural life of the period. Challenging current influential views, the book observes strong connections, instead of deep divisions, between country and city, land and trade, sociability and power. Its very different view undermines established stereotypes of omnipotent male patriarchs, powerless wives and kin, autonomous elder sons, and dependent younger brothers. Gifts of venison and visits in a coach reveal unexpected findings about the subtle power of women over the social code, the importance of younger sons, and the overwhelming impact of London. Successfully combining storytelling and historical analysis, the book recreates everyday lives in a period of overseas expansion, financial revolution, and political turmoil.

Author Biography

Susan Whyman was a visiting scholar at Wadham College in Oxford in 1989, and gained a Ph.D. in British History from Princeton University in 1993.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 2002
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
12pp halftone plates, 6 tables and 1 family tree
Oxford University Press
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