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Locations, Networks and Cycles: Studying the Everyday Life of Richard Stonley (1520-1600)

Hudson, Zoe Ellen Pearce (2017) Locations, Networks and Cycles: Studying the Everyday Life of Richard Stonley (1520-1600). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:66320)

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Abstract

This project explores everyday life in the early modern period and utilises an extended case study examining the diaries of Richard Stonley, in order to develop new methodological strategies for the analysis and interpretation of archival sources. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the thesis draws on theoretical frameworks from fields including anthropology and material culture studies, and combines qualitative and quantitative modes of analysis. The conclusions of this study draw out effective methods with which to approach highly personal and idiosyncratic, or seemingly mundane archival sources. These methods enable a nuanced understanding of early modern individuals who may fall between established categories, such as 'elite' and 'middling' or 'urban' and 'rural'.

The three surviving volumes of Richard Stonley's unpublished diary, dating from 1581 to 1597, contain large amounts of information about daily life at his homes in London and Essex, and in the Fleet prison where he resided in the final years of his life following a serious debt problem. As a Teller of the Exchequer, Richard Stonley also spent much of his time working at the Receipt at Westminster. These four locations would have been inhabited by Stonley on a regular or daily basis, and they were the sites for numerous routine activities recorded in the diary entries and in other archival sources, including inventories and accounts. Social interactions were also recorded in the diary, allowing for an analysis of his quotidian social network, alongside behaviours connected to both routine activities and special occasions.

This thesis demonstrates that rather than viewing everyday life merely as a category of activities or objects centered around a domestic setting, this theme can be utilised as a lens through which to examine challenging or dense historical sources. This methodological approach includes exploring a wide range of archival evidence in detail, generating a deeper understanding of the working practices and daily tasks undertaken by historic individuals in the navigation of their quotidian lives and the creation of their social and cultural identities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Richardson, Catherine
Thesis advisor: van den Heuvel, Danielle
Uncontrolled keywords: Everyday life; Quotidian; 16th century; Interdisciplinary; Domestic; Working practices; Community; Culture; Identity; Lived experience; Material culture; Diary; Richard Stonley; London; Essex; Fleet prison; Westminster; Social network
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2018 13:21 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66320 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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