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Flashcards in Literacy and Culture Deck (40)
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Literary/cultural "periods"

Elizabeth I
James & Charles I
Civil War/Interregnum
Charles II/Restoration


Elizabeth I - lit/culture

Burghley/Camden (JI 2 x images, politic vs. militant)
Spenser (£50p.a. pension) (Marx - "elizabeth's arse-kissing poet)
Knox vs Aylmer
Hale (Discourse of C/weal)
Accession Day celebrations (middleton)
John Stubbes hand (1579 'gaping gulf' pamphlet on Anjou match)
Significance of rebels burning prayer books in Northern Rebellion


Charles I - lit/culture

Encouragement of literacy to allow people to read the Bible themselves.
Milton (Tenure of Kings/Magistrates; Eikonoklastes)
Mercurius Aulicus/Politicus


Civil War - lit./culture

Nehemiah Wallington (1618-54)
Mercurius Politicus (Nedham); licencing under 1643 Pmt. version. No music (except church - development of oratorios combining stories with music and singing)


Charles II - lit./culture

Patronage of:
- theatre (Davenant/Killigrew); Dryden "the great apologist for king and court"
- art (John Lely - also by Countess Castlemaine - £200p.a.)
- architecture - redecorating Windsor by Verio in 1670's
- censorship - by Sir Roger L'Estrange
Attempted to beautify the church as part of Laudianism - eg. stained glass windows in University College chapel.


Glorious Revolution - lit./culture

Samuel Jonson - trying to bring together constitution and scriptures
Swift - Gulliver's Travels = satire on gov.
Defoe - defence of WIII (True-Born Englishman)


Other sources on literature and writing

Lady Grace Mildmay's recipe book; Lady Margaret Hoby's diary; Lady Katherine Ranelagh (d.1691) - female scientist and correspondent.
Hannah Woolley - first published woman - 1661 - "the ladies directory"
Pepys' Diary! 1660. Henslowe's Diary (d.1616) - theatrical props...
Sidney - A+S (1590) "Fool! said my muse unto me,/ look into thy heart, and write" writing "to ease a burdened heart", "truant pen"
Herbert - The Temple (1630's) "Lovely enchanting language, sugar-cane,/ honey of roses"
Jonson - Epicene (1609) "she hath found her tongue since she was married"
Donne - "sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls..."


Political printing

- Grand Remonstrance (1641) by pmnt for people's approval
- Root and Branch (1640) (15,000 signatures and 1500 crowd)



Spufford: 1/3 of 5 year olds could read before entering school at Aldenham, Hertfordshire, 1650-1708.
O'Day: 200 local parishes served by 1 schoolmaster in Staffordshire + Derbyshire. Repton = 340 pupils in 1662, 140 = tablers.
1650/4 = 60 new schools in Welsh market towns to 21 in 1660 - too rural?


Books in circulation

Spufford: 1/4 million copies of catechism circulating in the early C17


POV's on literacy

O'Day - "specialist skills specific to certain occupations"


Uses of literacy

O'Day - 32% felons in Middlesex used benefit of clergy to escape gallows under Elizabeth I.


Literacy in occupations

O'Day: 3% Goldsmiths illiterate, vs. 46% brewers.


Curriculum content

Stone: only 1 in 11 teaching Latin in Great Yarmouth


Male literacy

Stone - educated young men: 2.5% of their age group, 1/2 peerage attended uni, 430 men leaving uni to go into religion p.a. Peak of literacy - 1640, 1/3 of London men literate.


Upper sorts - male education

Stone: Inns of Court attendance = landowning classes. Oxford Matriculation records, 1575-1639 = 50% gentry, 41% pleb, 9% clergy
Duke of Newcastle wrote to Charles II warning against too many educated unemployed u/c men.


Charity and schooling

Jordan: 1/2 of all charitable giving = to education
Charlton: Marmaduke Longdale of Dowthorpe Hall, Yorkshire, bequeathed £200 for a school in 1611.
Christ's Hospital, founded 1552, provided basic vocational education to children.
Sunday Schools first founded under Hannah More in 1690's.


Signature rates and literacy

CRESSY: 1530: 52% pop. in East London suburbs = illiterate vs. 24% city artisans/traders
1670's - 78% women unable to write their names in London courts; 44% in 1720's (print/city?)
NATIONAL stats: 90% women, 70% men illiterate in mid c17, mid c18 = 60+40%
HOUSTON - Huge disparities in English literacy - eg. 1% illiterate in London vs. 13% Middlesex in 1720's. Cheshire/Lancs = 30 schools in 1548 and 109 in 1603. Cost of supporting an Oxford commoner for 1 year = £3-40 in 1600.


Economic factors and print/literacy

Print trade = London based.
Raymond: print = 1/18 the cost of m/s publication. No press in Wales before 1700, Scotl's Mercurius Scoticus in 1651, Leith; Irel. had an army printed serial from 1649-50.
Johns - Stationer's Company had 150 Book shops, and 40-60 printers. Used a Register Book to mark all prints (censorship purposes)
Key eg's of printers - St Paul's Churchyard.



1529 - royal proclamation using proscribed books; listing of heretical titles (pre-break with Rome)
1543 - Act for the Advancement of True Religion - limiting of reading of the Bible by soc. status and gender.
1562 - Teachers must be subscribed to the 39 Articles.
1586 - Star Chamber decrees the regulating of the book trade
1599 - Bishop's Ban of satire (new forms aka. cit. comedy/Jonson)
1641 - Eccl licensing breaks down with the abolition of the courts of the Star Chamber and High Commission.
1648 - Parliamentary printing ordinance
1649 - Act against Scandalous and Unlicensed books - controlled press and introduced the Mercurius Politicus as the official newspaper of the commonwealth and protectorate (Nedham).
1709 - copyright act


Henry VIII - lit/culture

Wrote Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (Defense of the Seven Sacraments) in 1521, defending the sacramental nature of marriage and the supremacy of the Pope; "Henrician Affirmation"opposed ideas of Martin Luther.
Opulence - eg. Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520). Hall's Chronicle = 500 horsemen and 3000 foot soldiers. Tilting, fancy dress, feasting
Hall's Chronicle (printed by Grafton 1548)
Richard Grafton = King's printer


Richard Grafton

HVIII - accused of supporting Cromwell, fined and imprisoned.
EVI - King's Printer
Printed the proclamation of Lady Jane Grey's accession to the throne, signed as "printer to the queen"; was imprisoned by Mary I


Upper sorts - female education

Charlton - young girls sent to other households to learn manners/accomplishments such as singing,dancing (considered inappropriate sometimes), french, religion, housewifery. From 1637 girls could go to private, female-run schools eg. of Mrs Salmon in Hackney. Sir Thomas More's daughters taught Latin and Greek (unusual). Other sources of education - siblings/parents. Evidence of women's reading - diaries (eg. Lady Margaret Hoby (d.1633) - also education by Countess of Huntingdon)


Female writing conventions

Recipe books a common source of writing - eg. Lady Grace Mildmay (d.1620)
1675 - The Accomplisht Ladies Delight (market for housekeeping manuals)
Daybell - letter writing. Women petitioning the King for aid, showing their roles as estate managers and household figureheads. Showing knowledge of conventions (self-deprecation, binding in silks and carefully folding, calligraphic writing to seniors.) Women of the lower sorts writing to men such as Thomas Fulton, founder of a hospital, for financial assistance via. scribes.


Lady Margaret Hoby

D.1633; Gentlewoman from the East Riding.
Educated in a young women's finishing school run by her guardian's wife - the Countess of Huntingdon.
Kept a commonplace book with passages from sermons within.
Married 3 times (very eligible widow), once to Sir Philip Sidney's younger brother Robert.
Very pious and domestic diary, though she travelled to London, and kept up with the fashions.


Court Patronage

FOX - "the site where the mechanisms of Literature's role in society can be observed". Split views - in/decreasing patronage over time?
Essex = 66 dedicatoins 1590-1600; E = 56; Burghley = 21...
Dedication a "ritual" means of constructing a relationship between patron and writer.
Other patrons in the court - Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (Sidney's sister) - but limited.
Elizabeth = unlike other monarchs, in not supporting literature/arts - because courtiers did so? Sign of a weaker regime?



Marx - "elizabeth's arse-kissing poet"
McCabe - "Spenser was Elizabeth's subject but she was his"; spenser encourages own exegesis - ie. more nuanced meanings? Eg. sexual instances between Redcrosse and Una... Book I = how to distinguish between good/bad queens - Redcrosse fails.



Houston - censorship "universal"
London's Stationer's Company given a printing monopoly by Mary and Philip 1557-1695; in Ireland = Printmaster General from 1609. - they paid the crown ie. "fiscal purpose". Monopolies like printing playing cards highly sought because lucrative.
Argues propaganda more important than proscription of certain literature.
Between 1640-61 = 15,000 soc., rel., pol commentaries.
R. L'Estrange on newspapers: "makes the multitude too familiar with the actions and counsels of their superiors"


Scottish literacy

Houston - central part of Scottish identity = pride in their education system, as legislated in 1646 act and promoted by the Kirk, in which landowners in every parish had to provide a teacher for all.
STATS: 1833 = 96% could read and 53% write vs. 86 and 43% in England. Before that = very similar to Norther England literacy rates - c17 craftsmen and tradesmen 25% illiterate, vs. 33% in England.
Highlanders = 20-30% less literate than lowlands counterparts. role of Gaelic language!



Tenure of Kings and Magistrates: 1649. Defence of gov after execution of Charles I.
Power of kings/magistrates no more than what is "transferr'd and committed to them in trust from the people"; the "Prince is bound to the laws" as well as to God.
Eikonoklastes: 1649, response to Eikon Basilikon.
people "persist to give bare words more credit than op'n deeds"