Foresters, Ploughmen, and Shepherds

Andrew Hadfield

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199205882
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Foresters, Ploughmen, and Shepherds

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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Representations of hardy and vigorous rural workers were featured prominently in much Tudor literature. In 1485 Tudor life and economy were almost exclusively rural, wealth based on the acquisition and maintenance of land and property. The only substantial city in England was London, which did indeed grow significantly during the reign of the Tudors. By the end of the sixteenth century most writers either lived in or had access to London, where the major printing presses were housed. The rural labourer, who had once been an organic part of everyday life, assumed the status of a figure under threat who needed protection, the authentic link to a past that was disappearing before everyone's eyes. This article focuses on the texts that were written and published during the period.

Keywords: rural workers; labourers; Tudor life; rural life

Article.  7404 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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