Chapter

‘Choose thee a bed and hangings for a chamber; Take with thee everything that hath thy mark’: objects and spaces in the early modern house

Catherine Richardson

in Domestic Life and Domestic Tragedy in Early Modern England

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780719065446
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701164 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719065446.003.0003
‘Choose thee a bed and hangings for a chamber; Take with thee everything that hath thy mark’: objects and spaces in the early modern house

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This chapter investigates the relationship between domestic spaces, household objects and the individuals who owned them, examining the manner in which those individuals furnished their houses and their attitudes towards their possessions against the way they talked about domestic life. Although the method is historical in the disciplinary sense, the chapter is literary in its presentation: in the way it privileges the qualitative over the quantitative in order to find a narrative form that gives the extensive statistical data meaning in terms of contemporary perceptions of status, lifecycle and gender within the household. It explores the way objects mediate social relations, but those of affect rather than production and consumption, and analyses individuals' descriptions of their household as evidence of broader cultural patterns of thought about domestic materiality. Such information is important for an understanding of domestic tragedy in several ways. The chapter also discusses domestic goods as bequests, the language of bequests, objects and spaces, biographies of domestic possession and narratives of the house.

Keywords: domestic spaces; household objects; household; domestic life; social relations; materiality; domestic goods; bequests; domestic possession; house

Chapter.  20203 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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