Home

Join us to help uncover the untold histories of ordinary men and women from across early modern England.

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:

A SELECTION OF OUR LATEST POSTS:

You can find out more about the project and its rationale in our opening blog series, HERE.

Follow us on Twitter:

Header Base Image: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Recent Posts

Humphrey Beckham, Craft, and Literacy among the Middling Sort

A common misconception when thinking about those below the level of the elite is that the majority were completely illiterate, with no reading or writing ability whatsoever. Many of those at the centre of Middling Culture were indeed literate, though the extent and nature of their literacy varied. It’s a complex issue, as people learnt … Continue reading Humphrey Beckham, Craft, and Literacy among the Middling Sort

Mudlarking on the Thames, Part 2: What can we do with Fragments and Waste?

In Rubbish Theory, Michael Thompson argues that there are three kinds of value categories: ‘transient’ or ‘here today, gone tomorrow’; ‘durable’ or ‘a joy forever’; and rubbish. Things can move between categories, with a bottle thrown away at its time of use becoming a collectable or a ring that slipped from the finger five hundred … Continue reading Mudlarking on the Thames, Part 2: What can we do with Fragments and Waste?

Media Moment 1: Bristol’s Audits

This blog introduces a new series of posts related to Middling Culture research: Media Moments.  These posts will provide short “glimpses” into topics that relate to ordinary, everyday lives in early modern England under the scope of this project, from keywords to documentation to objects and images.  This post begins the series by considering early modern Bristol’s … Continue reading Media Moment 1: Bristol’s Audits

More Posts