Locating Privacy in Tudor London

Paperback | December 4, 2009

byLena Cowen Orlin

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Locating Privacy in Tudor London asks new questions about where private life was lived in the early modern period, about where evidence of it has been preserved, and about how progressive and coherent its history can be said to have been. The Renaissance and the Reformation are generally takento have produced significant advances in individuality, subjectivity, and interiority, especially among the elite, but this study of middling-sort culture shows privacy to have been an object of suspicion, of competing priorities, and of compulsory betrayals. The institutional archives of civicgovernance, livery companies, parish churches, and ecclesiastical courts reveal the degree to which society organized itself around principles of preventing privacy, as a condition of order. Also represented in the discussion are such material artefacts as domestic buildings and householdfurnishings, which were routinely experienced as collective and monitory agents rather than spheres of exclusivity and self-expression. In 'everyday' life, it is argued, economic motivations were of more urgent concern than the political paradigms that have usually informed our understanding of theRenaissance. Locating Privacy pursues the case study of Alice Barnham (1523-1604), a previously unknown merchant-class woman, subject of one of the earliest family group paintings from England. Her story is touched by many of the changes-in social structure, religion, the built environment, thespread of literacy, and the history of privacy-that define the sixteenth century. The book is of interest to literary, social, cultural, and architectural historians, to historians of the Reformation and of London, and to historians of gender and women's studies.

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Locating Privacy in Tudor London asks new questions about where private life was lived in the early modern period, about where evidence of it has been preserved, and about how progressive and coherent its history can be said to have been. The Renaissance and the Reformation are generally takento have produced significant advances in in...

Lena Cowen Orlin is Presidential Research Professor of English at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Visiting Professor of English at Georgetown University, and Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:392 pagesPublished:December 4, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199577382

ISBN - 13:9780199577385

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Doors1. The Search for Lady Ingram2. Rebuildings3. Alice Barnham in the Rebuilt World4. Boundaries5. The Chronicles of Francis Barnham6. Galleries7. The Barnhams' Business Secrets8. Closets

Editorial Reviews

"In Locating Privacy, Lena Cowen Orlin has redefined our understanding of early modern material culture, telling a story not only about objects and spaces, but also about the people who lived with and within them. Moving easily among such diverse sources as paintings, peepholes, building plansand legal records, Orlin takes us beyond Aries, Hoskins and Girouard to re-claim privacy as a central arena through which social changes were resisted, accommodated and acknowledged. A triumph of interdisciplinary studies, this is a book that will be admired by historians, literary critics, arthistorians and scholars of gender." --Cynthia Herrup, Professor of History and Law, University of Southern California