Elizabethan England Message Board

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Elizabethan England Message Board

Editat: set. 4, 2006, 2:38 pm

Hi! Just to get things started, I'd like to ask what you think is the most useful book you have on Elizabethan England. Of course, this is a tough question; do I choose Emerson's Wives and Daughters, or Neville Williams' All the Queen's Men, or Lawrence Stone's The Crisis of the Aristocracy ? Or The Longman Companion to the Tudor Age? No, it's got to be The Measure of Reality by Alfred Crosby - though not specifically about England, it is the most enlightening book about the Renaissance that I've ever read, and the minute I finished it, I turned back to the first page and read it again. I don't do that too often!

set. 4, 2006, 2:38 pm

New acquisition: The Godly Books of Tudor England by John E. Booty. Haven't started reading it yet (so many books, so little time ...) but it looked interesting. Has anyone else read this one?

set. 27, 2006, 2:50 am

New acquisition: The Sea Dogs by Neville Williams, which I didn't even know existed until I saw it at the bottom of the pirate bookpile! I located a copy through abebooks.com, and it just arrived.

set. 27, 2006, 7:22 am

Not sure what "most useful" means in this context. But my favourite Elizabethan reads have probably been David Starkey's and Alison Weir's (Part) biographies.

As for fiction, I enjoy the murder mysteries of Fiona Buckley.

oct. 1, 2006, 11:53 pm

Well, I'd say "most useful" means the most useful to YOU, so you've answered the question!

I recently was looking around at the various Elizabethan mystery series (there are five or six at least) - has anyone read any of the others? Opinions?

Some names:
Karen Harper
Leonard Tourney
Anthony Burgess
Edward Marston
John Pilkington
Peter Tonkin

I've only read the Fiona Buckley and Karen Harper series, so would love to know if the others are worth trying.


oct. 1, 2006, 11:54 pm

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

nov. 11, 2006, 11:07 pm


I just got a facsimile copy of William Lily's A shorte introduction of grammar, the government-mandated Latin textbook from Henry VIII's time up to the 18th century. Very cool!

8LyriqueTragedy Primer missatge
Editat: des. 19, 2006, 10:43 pm

Evening everyone!

I just found my way here to LibraryThing and I have to say that the absence of an Early Modern, Elizabethan, or Renaissance group on the main groups page concerned me, but I found you guys! *chuckles*

As for the most "useful" book, I think I'll have to give that some thought. It very much depends on what I am looking for, actually. Societal norms? Costume design? Source material for historical crimes? Maps? Theory? The possibilities are endless, really, but there is one book in particular that has helped me with reconstructing (as much as can be done) the social structures of the 16-18th centuries in England-- I haven't entered it yet, and it's on my office shelf, but I ~think~ it's called English Society by Lawrence Stone. I'll check tomorrow and edit this post to give the exact title.


Edit: The title is The family, sex and marriage in England 1500-1800, and if you're looking for domestic rules, constructs, laws and mores, this is comprehensive and well researched!

des. 20, 2006, 12:59 am

Hi, LyriqueTragedy

Have you read Lawrence Stone's The Crisis of the Aristocracy? Full of lovely stuff, especially if you have the unabridged version (they left out all the fun stuff to make the abridgement). Also quite interesting is Felicity Heal's The Gentry in England and Wales 1500-1700.

Welcome aboard!

des. 20, 2006, 8:12 am

A recent read that stood out for me was The uncrowned kings of England : the black history of the Dudleys and the Tudor throne by Derek Wilson. Although not solely about Robert Dudley so therefore going wider than the period covered by this group, it is interesting and perhaps controversial (see my review).


des. 21, 2006, 2:43 am


Thanks for the heads up on the text! As I suspect all of us have our predilections, one of mine is certainly the influence of Dudley. I'll be adding it to my "next to read" list, and let you know what I think!

On a side note... I really need to find some time to sit down and put together some reviews. I want to so badly that it's making me twitchy!


des. 21, 2006, 12:04 pm

Thanks for your comments, LyriqueTragedy. By no means all my reviews are that long, most are just a couple of sentences, unless I feel moved to write more, as in this case.


des. 25, 2006, 2:36 pm

I bought The Uncrowned Kings of England recently, but haven't had time to read it yet. Glad to read your review!

Warmest holiday wishes to all!

des. 25, 2006, 2:40 pm

Touching the usefulness of a good knowledge of Elizabethan England, we wonder how many people would continue to pay any attention to the "Bacon-Shakespeare controversy" after reading The Shakespeare Claimants?

Editat: maig 5, 2007, 1:23 pm

I'm not sure about how I'd define "most useful" either. Of the half-dozen books I've already entered and tagged "Elizabeth I," I think my favorite was Jane Dunn's Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens, followed by Alison Weir's The Life of Elizabeth I. Stephen Budiansky's Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage was pretty good, too. I liked David Starkey's Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne less -- it's all right, but I didn't think it exceptional.

I haven't yet gotten around to reading Elizabeth I: Collected Works. And a few years ago I started reading Christopher Hibbert's The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius of the Golden Age, but haven't finished it -- I got sidetracked by schoolwork.

Edited to get touchstones to work

Editat: maig 5, 2007, 6:16 am

I recently bought Anne Somerset's biography of Elizabeth, but haven't read yet.

Any views on this book?


maig 6, 2007, 1:06 am

Somerset's is my favorite bio of Elizabeth! Very good.

juny 18, 2007, 10:50 am

Hard to define "useful," but one that changed my perspective while in grad school was Stephen Greenblatt's Renaissance Self-Fashioning.

juny 24, 2007, 12:47 pm

Sounds interesting, I'll have to look out for a copy! Thanks for the tip!

oct. 8, 2020, 8:53 am

This group worth rescuing in the face of Group consolidation and archiving? Any group to combine it with?

des. 6, 2021, 2:02 pm

If someone else is around, I'd be happy to start posting again... :)

Not sure where it can go really. "English History - Tudor through Edwardian" is even more dead than this one.

des. 6, 2021, 6:15 pm

Well, I read the thread! Looking for "useful" things on material culture in Elizabethan England. There is a ton of stuff, but if anybody has favorites I'd be happy to hear about it. I have no idea what's really great and what isn't.

des. 6, 2021, 6:21 pm

>22 annamorphic: Material culture as in fashion, clothes materials, household items or something else? And in what context - monetary, people-related, historical? If you share some titles you found, that may point to what you are really looking for :)

des. 6, 2021, 7:07 pm

Household items. Things people used in the home. Furniture, kitchen wares, things like that. What we can learn from studying them. It's a massive thing in American Studies, and there are some good studies in Elizabethan. Beds have attracted a fair bit of attention. Costume, definitely. But what other types of domestic object have really been examined, and how?

Editat: des. 6, 2021, 8:13 pm

Well, there is the Household Accounts and Disbursement Books of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester for example (and other household lists) which gives you an idea of what was going on in the households and often has elements on the pure material side (although it is more on the monetary side for obvious reasons and the material parts of it are almost inconsequential).

Morse's Elizabethan Pageantry is dated but still valid. If you are interested in costumes, look at the Elizabethan theater enthusiasts - there are a LOT of books out there on that - and a lot of them have interesting historical notes. Or Norris's Tudor Costume and Fashion

The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing Sixteenth-Century Dress is the newest on the topic and probably one of the better ones out there.

Not sure how close these are to what you are looking for.

Not really my side of things - I am much more likely to look for books about the Parliaments than about the beds of the era. :) You may want to start a new topic so people can see it - if someone else is around anyway :)