Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England

Paperback | June 3, 1999

byDavid Cressy

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A vivid picture of the classic rites of passage in Tudor and Stuart England. From childbirth and baptism through to courtship, weddings, and funerals, every stage in the life-cycle of Tudor and Stuart England was accompanied by ritual. Even under the protestantism of the reformed Church, the spiritual and social dramas of birth, marriage, and death were graced withelaborate ceremony. Powerful and controversial protocols were in operation, shaped and altered by the influences of the Reformation, the Revolution, and the Restoration. Using fascinating first-hand evidence, David Cressy shows how the making and the re-making of ritual formed part of a continuing debate, sometimes strained and occasionally acrimonious, which exposed the raw nerves of society in the midst of great historical events. In doing so, he vividly bringsto life the common experiences of living and dying in Tudor and Stuart England. `...a massive compendium of information...its material is so extensive and often so novel in itself that it opens a door on a lost world of experience, dispelling popular myths and removing areas of scholarly ignorance.' Times Literary Supplement, June 1997 `David Cressy's detailed study examines how each elaborate rite of passage was shaped and altered by the wider events of the Reformation, the Commonwealth, and the Restoration.' History Today, April 1997 `...detailed and absorbing book.' The Observer, May 1997

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A vivid picture of the classic rites of passage in Tudor and Stuart England. From childbirth and baptism through to courtship, weddings, and funerals, every stage in the life-cycle of Tudor and Stuart England was accompanied by ritual. Even under the protestantism of the reformed Church, the spiritual and social dramas of birth, marri...

David Cressy is at Ohio State University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:672 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.34 inPublished:June 3, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198207883

ISBN - 13:9780198207887

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Table of Contents

BIRTH1. Childbed Mysteries: God's Babies: The Spiritual Construction of Childbirth; Comforts for Childbearing Women; Suffering and Death; The Archers: A Family History2. The Management of Childbirth: Books for the Birth of Mankind; Signs of Conception; Care of the Expectant Mother; Abortion; Preparations for the Birth Room3. Childbed Attendants: Reputable Midwives; Midwives and Ministers; Midwives in Action; Bastard Births4. Mother and Child: The Woman in the Straw; Childbed Gossips; The Blessings of the Breast; The Wetnurse and the MartyrBAPTISM5. Baptism as Sacrament and Drama: Questions of Contention; Timing, Refusal and Neglect; Liturgy; Theology; Lost Souls; Baptism by Women6. Crosses in Baptism: The Sign of the Cross; Elements and Substances; Dipping and Sprinkling; Fonts and Basins7. The People with the Children: Parents and Godparents; Naming the Child; Chrisom Cloths and Christening Sheets; Christening Cheer8. Changes and Challenges: Baptism in Times of Distraction, 1642-1660; Baptism after the Restoration; The Rise of Private BaptismCHURCHING9. Purification, Thanksgiving, and the Churching of Women: Viewpoints; Gossippings; Green Women; Blessing and Cleansing; Complaints and Objections; Rates and Fees; Cases and Collisions; Decent Veils; "Julia's Churching"; Churching continued, 1645-1700; Multiple MeaningsCOURTSHIP10. Courtship and the Making of Marriage: Courtship Narratives; Making a Match; Choice and Consent; Mutual Love and Good Liking; Gifts and Tokens11. Espousals, Betrothals and Contracts: Cementing an Engagement; Carnal KnowledgeMARRIAGE12. Holy Matrimony: Transformations; Problems and Questions; God's Weddings13. Prohibitions and Impediments: Forbidden Seasons; Banns and Licences; Impediments; Prohibited Degrees; Religious Restrictions14. Clandestine and Irregular Marriages: Canonical Hours; Clandestine Weddings; "Living together as man and oife"; After the Restoration15. Nuptial Vows: The Solemnization of Matrimony; Giving the Bride; The Ring in Marriage; The Accustomed Duty16. Wedding Celebrations: Festive Excess; Hymen's Revels; Wedding Gear; Bridal Flowers; Giving and Bidding; Bridal Processions; Acts of Piety and Mirth; Possets and StockingsDEATH17. Death Comes for All: Body and Soul; Ars Moriendi; Grief18. Ritual and Reformation: The Order for Burial of the Dead; Persistent Tradition; Puritan Criticism; Ceremonial Discipline; The War on Pomp; Revolution and Restoration19. Funerals and Burials: For Whom the Bell Tolls; Winding and Watching; Furnishings and Equipment; Funeral Processions; Mourning Black; Doles and Dinners; The Triumph of Pomp20. The Geography of Interment: Fees and Dues; Places of Honour; The Dormitory of Christians; Markers and MemorialsConclusion: Centres and Peripheries; Public and Private; Social and Spiritual; Stories within Stories; Men and women; Problems and changes; Reformation, Revolution and RestorationIndex

Editorial Reviews

`This is a big book on a huge subject ... and all for L25.'Christopher Haigh and Alison Wall, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol.50, No.3.