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

Birth, Marriage, and Death

Ritual, Religion, and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England

Paperback Published: 1st August 1999
ISBN: 9780198207887
Number Of Pages: 664

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From childbirth and baptism through to courtship, weddings, and funerals, every stage in the lifecycle 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 with elaborate ceremony. Powerful and controversial protocols were in operation, shaped and altered by the influences of the Reformation, the Revolution, and the Restoration.
Each of the major rituals was potentially an arena for argument, ambiguity, and dissent. Ideally, as classic rites of passage, these ceremonies worked to bring people together. But they also set up traps into which people could stumble, and tests which not everybody could pass. In practice, ritual performance revealed frictions and fractures that everyday local discourse attempted to hide or to heal.
Using fascinating first-hand evidence, David Cressy shows how the making and remaking 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 brings to life the common experiences of living and dying in Tudor and Stuart England.

`the volume will remain the essential beginning point for all future study of life-cycle rituals. It is useful for undergraduates and fundamental for all serious students and scholars.' Michael J. Galgano, Religious Studies Review, Vol 27, No 2, April 2001 `In this richly detailed and beautifully written study, Cressy examines the life-cycle religious rituals against the backdrop of the broader social and cultural tensions transforming England in early modern times ... The work soars in its thorough explanation of each ritual, unique cases, and changing practice over time.' Michael J. Galgano, Religious Studies Review, Vol 27, No 2, April 2001 `an engaging and scholarly study ... although this book claims to be social history (of which it is a fine example), it is so much more besides. The political, religious, cultural, and intellectual historian will be able to take a great deal away from this book, almost as much as his social colleague.' Andrew Chibi, Reformation. `By taking as his parameters the late-Tudorbethan Reformation period and the aftermath of the glorious revolution, Cressy has provided the context that a lot of social history lacks. And what action-packed context it is!' Andrew Chibi, Reformation. `A good book? Certainly. An edifying read? Without doubt. To be recommended? Highly and enthusiastically.' Andrew Chibi, Reformation. `the great service that Cressy has done us by collecting this material and mapping the ritual of early modern England in such fascinating detail.' John Spurr, Besprechungen. `Well versed in and eloquent about the theological implications of rituals and the limitations of social theory, Cressy allows neither to distract him from his primary task of describing these rituals in all of their rich diversity. His book is a treasure trove of information about early modern practices ... He is resourceful in finding ways to take his readers into private spaces like the birth room; he is innovative in his chapter on churching ... he is lucid and authoritative on subjects such as 'clandestine marriage' or puritan objections to Prayer Book ritual. Cressy will recount an incident - whether a rowdy funeral or a secret marriage - and then offer several possible interpretations without imposing a single definitive view.' John Spurr, Besprechungen. `The wealth of engaging detail and anecdote, the relaxed prose, the ample illustrations, even the price, suggest that this book is aimed at a wider readership than is usual for such a work of scholarship. This is certainly a book that undergraduates will use and profit from, and it is alos one to which their teacher, the professional historians of early modern England, will frequently refer and often defer ... the book's clear organisation allows readers to find information swiftly.' John Spurr, Besprechungen. `Professor Cressy has woven his marvellous tapestry of the experience of birth, marriage and death in Tudor and Stuart England.' John Spurr, Besprechungen. `This is a big book on a huge subject ... and all for £25.' Christopher Haigh and Alison Wall, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol.50, No.3. `There is a fascination, in the detail - rich, raw, well-marshalled, sometimes funny, often poignant.' Christopher Haigh and Alison Wall, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol.50, No.3. `Ritual will run and run. But David Cressy has brought us a long way already, and written a valuable book.' Christopher Haigh and Alison Wall, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol.50, No.3. `huge but highly readable volume ... Cressy's interpretations are highly judicious ... this book is a masterly survey and a vast fund of fascinating insight into the conventions governing the world we have lost.' roy Porter, Medical History `This superb book has been well over a decade in the making and... is characteristically well researched and beautifully written... This is indeed a book richly stacked with popular instances and individual life histories. The author listens attentively to the multiplicity of voices in the past (many of them obscure and long-forgotten) and, through quotation, allows them to be heard. THat the book does not collapse under its own weight is a tribute to the author's skill in drawing out the telling detail and cumulatively building up enough examples to prove a point and depict shifting trends... It is significant that this scholarly, wide-ranging, and deeply humane book should end not with strident assertions and attacks on other historians but with genuine questions and an agenda for futher research.' R.C. Richardson, The Historian `This is a most readable and highly detailed examination of family life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Taking the life-cycle as its central theme it is essential reading for anyone studying the patterns and rituals of family life in the pre-industrial age. Combining a fascinating exploration of available source materials it is clearly destined to become a classic work on the subject.' Local Population Studies `imaginative, perceptive, integrated, and beautifully produced ... Written with clarity, elegance and vivacity, it can stand confidently alongside Keith Thomas's equally innovative Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971).' I. Roots, Cromwelliana 1998 `What makes Cressy's work outstanding is his ability to unify... historiographies, to familiarize the reader with the fruits of demographic history and of religious debate and to integrate these into some of the major themes in social history. This work should interest a wide readership, and it is no exaggeration to state that every professional historian of the period will have a serious gap on their shelves if they do not acquire this book.' Will Coster, Continuity and Change, Vol.14 Part 3, 1999 `Extremely readable, meaty and often insightful survey.' Michael zell, University of Greenwich, `This is a rich and stimulating book which marks an important step forward in our understanding of the cultural and social impact of the English Reformation.' S.J.Gunn, Renaissance Quarterly

BIRTH 1: Childbed Mysteries: God's Babies: The Spiritual Construction of Childbirth; Comforts for Childbearing Women; Suffering and Death; The Archers: A Family History 2: The Management of Childbirth: Books for the Birth of Mankind; Signs of Conception; Care of the Expectant Mother; Abortion; Preparations for the Birth Room 3: Childbed Attendants: Reputable Midwives; Midwives and Ministers; Midwives in Action; Bastard Births 4: Mother and Child: The Woman in the Straw; Childbed Gossips; The Blessings of the Breast; The Wetnurse and the Martyr BAPTISM 5: Baptism as Sacrament and Drama: Questions of Contention; Timing, Refusal and Neglect; Liturgy; Theology; Lost Souls; Baptism by Women 6: Crosses in Baptism: The Sign of the Cross; Elements and Substances; Dipping and Sprinkling; Fonts and Basins 7: The People with the Children: Parents and Godparents; Naming the Child; Chrisom Cloths and Christening Sheets; Christening Cheer 8: Changes and Challenges: Baptism in Times of Distraction, 1642-1660; Baptism after the Restoration; The Rise of Private Baptism CHURCHING 9: 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 Meanings COURTSHIP 10: Courtship and the Making of Marriage: Courtship Narratives; Making a Match; Choice and Consent; Mutual Love and Good Liking; Gifts and Tokens 11: Espousals, Betrothals and Contracts: Cementing an Engagement; Carnal Knowledge MARRIAGE 12: Holy Matrimony: Transformations; Problems and Questions; God's Weddings 13: Prohibitions and Impediments: Forbidden Seasons; Banns and Licences; Impediments; Prohibited Degrees; Religious Restrictions 14: Clandestine and Irregular Marriages: Canonical Hours; Clandestine Weddings; "Living together as man and oife"; After the Restoration 15: Nuptial Vows: The Solemnization of Matrimony; Giving the Bride; The Ring in Marriage; The Accustomed Duty 16: Wedding Celebrations: Festive Excess; Hymen's Revels; Wedding Gear; Bridal Flowers; Giving and Bidding; Bridal Processions; Acts of Piety and Mirth; Possets and Stockings DEATH 17: Death Comes for All: Body and Soul; Ars Moriendi; Grief 18: Ritual and Reformation: The Order for Burial of the Dead; Persistent Tradition; Puritan Criticism; Ceremonial Discipline; The War on Pomp; Revolution and Restoration 19: Funerals and Burials: For Whom the Bell Tolls; Winding and Watching; Furnishings and Equipment; Funeral Processions; Mourning Black; Doles and Dinners; The Triumph of Pomp 20: The Geography of Interment: Fees and Dues; Places of Honour; The Dormitory of Christians; Markers and Memorials Conclusion: Centres and Peripheries; Public and Private; Social and Spiritual; Stories within Stories; Men and women; Problems and changes; Reformation, Revolution and Restoration Index

ISBN: 9780198207887
ISBN-10: 0198207883
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 664
Published: 1st August 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.24 x 15.67  x 3.45
Weight (kg): 1.01