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The Foundations of Gentry LifeThe Multons of Frampton and their World 1270-1370$
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Peter Coss

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560004

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560004.001.0001

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Literature and Household Entertainment

Literature and Household Entertainment

(p.230) 12 Literature and Household Entertainment
The Foundations of Gentry Life

Peter Coss (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the literature that was available to be read in the gentry household. It shows that the impact of widening literacy upon gentry culture was central: in keeping household and estate records, in religious observance, and in giving access to a variety of practical remedies. A good deal is known about some aspects of this culture because legal manuscripts, for example, and illuminated prayer-books have been deliberately preserved for posterity. Recreational manuscripts, on the other hand, were probably less often kept. What is certain is that for some gentry families, at least, literacy was also valued for entertainment purposes.

Keywords:   English gentry, gentry life, gentry culture, literature, literacy, entertainment

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