Sociability and Power in Late Stuart England: The Cultural Worlds of the Verneys 1660-1720

Paperback | January 1, 2002

bySusan E. Whyman

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This highly original study looks at rituals of sociability in new and creative ways. Based upon thousands of personal letters, it reconstructs the changing country and London worlds of an English gentry family, and reveals intimate details about the social and cultural life of the period.Challenging current influential views, the book observes strong connections, instead of deep divisions, between country and city, land and trade, sociability and power. Its very different view undermines established stereotypes of omnipotent male patriarchs, powerless wives and kin, autonomous eldersons, and dependent younger brothers. Gifts of venison and visits in a coach reveal unexpected findings about the subtle power of women over the social code, the importance of younger sons, and the overwhelming impact of London. Successfully combining storytelling and historical analysis, the bookrecreates everyday lives in a period of overseas expansion, financial revolution, and political turmoil.

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From the Publisher

This highly original study looks at rituals of sociability in new and creative ways. Based upon thousands of personal letters, it reconstructs the changing country and London worlds of an English gentry family, and reveals intimate details about the social and cultural life of the period.Challenging current influential views, the book ...

Susan E. Whyman is at Wadham College, Oxford.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:314 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.59 inPublished:January 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199250235

ISBN - 13:9780199250233

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Table of Contents

PART ONE: COUNTRY AND CITY NETWORKS1. Sir Ralph Verney: Networks of a Country Gentleman - The Gifts of Venison2. Sir John Verney: A Younger Son Enters the World of Commerce3. John Verney: Networks of a London MerchantPART TWO: RESPONSE TO LONDON4. London Modes of Sociability: The Visit and the Coach5. Choosing Partners: The Marriage Market6. Party Politics and Power: The Verneys and the Temples

Editorial Reviews

`Whyman usefully elucidates the practice and meaning of visiting, power issues in family relations, and connected developments in trade, London and social mobility'A Kugler, Choice, Sept.00.