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Middling Culture is a major new Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project that aims to transform our understanding of how reading, writing, and material culture fitted into the everyday lives of England’s “middling” people—neither the very rich nor the very poor—in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These were the literate, urban households whose members engaged with a variety of cultural forms for work and beyond.

Listen to project Principle Investigator Prof. Catherine Richardson on why researching early modern england’s middling sort is essential for understanding how creativity and culture affect social mobility:

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Recent Posts

Jane Ratcliffe and the life of an ‘upper middling’ woman in seventeenth-century Chester

In our Social Status Calculator Jane Ratcliffe is given as an example of a typical ‘upper middling’ woman. This blog uses the limited surviving source material to further flesh out Jane’s social and cultural life in seventeenth-century Chester. Jane was baptised in 1587, the daughter of John Brerewood, a glover of Chester who also served … Continue reading Jane Ratcliffe and the life of an ‘upper middling’ woman in seventeenth-century Chester

The Early Modern Precariat: Women in the Precarious Household Middling

*Trigger Warning: mentions of coercive control and financial abuse* Women in early modern England occupied positions across the “middling” scale.  There was no singular “female experience” in this period, but a rich and varied spectrum—one in which women suffered at the hands of patriarchal ideologies but in which many women still had degrees of economic … Continue reading The Early Modern Precariat: Women in the Precarious Household Middling

The Draughtsmanship of Divines in Early Modern England: Some Preliminary Observations

Guest post by Hannah Yip, a Research Assistant for ‘GEMMS – Gateway to Early Modern Manuscript Sermons’, an SSHRC-funded project based at the University of Regina, Canada. Her latest article, ‘What was a Homily in Post-Reformation England?’, is published in The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. The English Protestant divines discussed in this blog were of ‘professional … Continue reading The Draughtsmanship of Divines in Early Modern England: Some Preliminary Observations

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