Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-ix

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-13

"A Table of the cheiffest Citties, and Townes in England," a broadside printed about 1600, acknowledges that there were other urban centers in England besides London—thirteen of them, including York, Lincoln, Norwich, and Bristol (fig. 1.1). Estimating that there were also as many as eight hundred...

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Part I. Meanings of Material London

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pp. 15-19

In 1599, visitor Thomas Platter wrote: "London is the capital of England and so superior to other English towns that London is not said to be in England, but rather England to be in London, for England's most resplendent objects maybe seen in and around London." Platter pays tribute to one of...

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2. London's Dominion: The Metropolis, the Market Economy, and the State

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pp. 20-54

Sociologists and urban historians normally study urban development according to one of two paradigms. One school thinks of cities as densely settled and complexly organized communities situated at the center of a well-defined rural hinterland on which they each depend for supplies and to which they provide...

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3. Material London in Time and Space

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pp. 55-74

Cities are as much material as social constructs. They are places where commodities are manipulated and exchanged. Their physical structures incorporate masses of stuff brought from elsewhere. Their cultural identities find vital expression in the forms those materials take. All this is brought about by the...

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4. Poetaster, the Author, and the Perils of Cultural Production

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pp. 75-89

The term "materialism" entered English studies from Marxism. It was invoked in opposition to "idealism" which supposed that literary writing might transcend its conditions of production. However, the abbreviation to an epithet— "material London"—seems to be developing another nuance of the word...

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Part II. Consumer Culture: Domesticating Foreign Fashion

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pp. 91-96

As Thomas Platter expanded on his impressions of London, he emphasized the size of the city, its apparent prosperity, its vast capacity as a port, and the fact that "most of the inhabitants are employed in commerce: they buy, sell and trade in all the corners of the globe, for which purpose the water...

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5. England's Provinces: Did They Serve or Drive Material London?

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pp. 97-108

In explaining the process by which London by 1600 came to be a relatively glittering center of consumer goods, I put at the head of my list of causes foreign influences. Foreign imports, foreign visitors, foreign immigrants settling in England, English merchants trading overseas and bringing back novel wares...

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6. Fantastical Colors in Foggy London: The New Fashion Potential of the Late Sixteenth Century

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pp. 109-127

Ensembles of fashion and their respective elements — shapes, colors, and textures — are often laden with historical significance. Among their most interesting meanings are those that speak to the drama of great nations building up their cloth-manufacturing capability, an act of necessity in a highly competitive...

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7. "Rugges of London and the Diuell's Band": Irish Mantles and Yellow Starch as Hybrid London Fashion

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pp. 128-149

In sixteenth-century colonial tracts, the Irish mantle, a woolen cloak worn by both sexes and all classes of Irish people, was a particular target of colonial intervention. Writers such as Edmund Spenser, Fynes Morrison, and Sir John Davies saw this garment as an affront to colonial rule. Earlier English officials...

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8. Women, Foreigners, and the Regulation of Urban Space in Westward Ho

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pp. 150-167

By many accounts displays of xenophobic feeling were not uncommon in early modern London. In the sixteenth century urban riots often involved expressions of anti-immigrant sentiment, beginning with the infamous Ill May Day riots of 1517, but continuing as late as the London apprentice disturbances...

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Part III. Subjects of the City

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pp. 169-173

Despite the best efforts of William Harrison and Sir Thomas Smith to make the social hierarchies of early modern England seem orderly and rational, they sometimes had difficulty reconciling two fields of difference: rank and wealth. The one seemed ancient; the other, too often new. Because...

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9. Material Londoners?

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pp. 174-192

Such was the address made to James I, his wife Queen Anne, and his heir Prince Henry on 11 April 1609 by a character representing a shop boy in the entertainment devised by Ben Jonson (and recently discovered by Dr. James Knowles) at the opening of Britain's Burse, a new retail complex in the Strand...

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10. Purgation as the Allure of Mastery: Early Modern Medicine and the Technology of the Self

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pp. 193-205

In the anonymous early seventeenth-century city comedy entitled The Family of Love, a particularly nasty but very funny variant in the conventional sexual warfare between gallants and citizens takes place. Two gallants, Lipsalve and Gudgeon, seeking to gain access to the wife of Dr. Glister, take temporary...

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11. London's Vagrant Economy: Making Space for "Low" Subjectivity

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pp. 206-225

In 1594, Thomas Spickernell was listed by the town clerk of Maldon, Essex, as among those disaffected toward the Puritan magistracy and described as "somtyme apprentice to a bookebynder; after, a vagrant pedler; then, a ballet singer and seller; and now, a minister and alehouse-keeper in Maldon...

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Part IV. Diversions and Display

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pp. 227-231

Foreign visitors with privileged access, like Frederic Gerschow, companion to Philip Julius, the duke of Stettin-Pomerania, toured palaces, described their treasures, and termed London splendid. William Harrison and Fynes Moryson, by contrast, emphasized that the city's edifices did not present...

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12. Inside/Out: Women, Domesticity, and the Pleasures of the City

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pp. 232-250

A cluster of contradictions underlies the emergence of the English country house as a social and architectural institution in the last decades of the sixteenth century, not least of which is the growing importance of London in the lives of landowners and their families. For London was not only home...

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13. The Authority of the Globe and the Fortune

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pp. 251-267

My tide, "The Authority of the Globe and the Fortune," is an anomaly and a paradox. In conventional thinking, the playhouses and the players of London had no authority whatsoever. They were the products of the sort of "liberty" that was at best merely tolerated by the authority of the Crown, and never...

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14. Building, Buying, and Collecting in London, 1600–1625

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pp. 268-289

Lionel Cranfield, a major London merchant engaged in the importation of Italian silks, velvets, and taffeta in the 1590s, tripled his wealth between 1598 and 1601, accumulating a net worth of £6,600. As a sign of his prosperity and prospects, Cranfield decided to build in Wood Street, just off...

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Part V. Building the City

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pp. 291-295

The most familiar images of London before the Great Fire are the densely detailed views of Visscher, Norden, Dankerts, and Hollar. Carefully superimposed labels encourage us to tour their drawings like visitors to the early modern city, encountering landmark after landmark: the...

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15. The Topography and Buildings of London, ca. 1600

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pp. 296-321

The single theme that dominates the history and archaeology of London in the period 1500-1650, and beyond to the nineteenth century, is the growth of London and its consequences; in relation to the metropolis as a whole, to the country at large, and to the world outside. London's growth in the...

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16. John Day and the Bookshop That Never Was

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pp. 322-344

On 13 December 1572 Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, wrote a letter to Lord Burghley. He began by reporting that Bartholomew Clerke had been commissioned to answer a recent Catholic polemic, adding that the intended printer, John Day, was having a new font of type cut to be used...

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17. Boundary Disputes in Early Modern London

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pp. 345-376

Almost always, the first thing to be said about early modern London (and now in this volume the last thing, as well) is that it experienced an astonishing growth in population. To rehearse the numbers put forward by David Harris Sacks in the first chapter: there were perhaps 50,000 London residents...

List of Contributors

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pp. 377-380

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Acknowledgments

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p. 381

The contributors to this volume first gathered at a conference held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in the spring of 1995. "Material London, ca. 1600" convened under the auspices of the Folger Institute and with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks are due to...

Index

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pp. 383-393