Elizabethan education and Ben Jonson's school days
See education in Shakespeare’s day through the eyes of Ben Jonson: learning ABCs and the Lord’s Prayer with hornbooks, and drilling Latin grammar endlessly.
Wooing and Wedding: Courtship and Marriage in Early Modern England
Shakespeare and marriage, in his plays and in his own life
What did William Shakespeare think of marriage, based on how he wrote about it in his plays and what we know about his union with Anne Hathaway?
Etiquette in early modern England (part 2)
Books on manners became so popular during the Elizabethan period that it was only a matter of time before someone satirized them.
Etiquette in early modern England (part 1)
“Manners maketh man” was the motto of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Would your own table manners pass inspection?
The rise and fall of sumptuary laws: Rules for dressing in Shakespeare's England
In Shakespeare’s England, those wearing clothes adjudged to be above their station were subject to fines or imprisonment under sumptuary laws.
The well-dressed Elizabethan: Renaissance fashions as social markers
Renaissance fashion was unquestionably distinctive, especially among the upper class, who favored clothing with luxurious fabrics and dramatic silhouettes.
Educating and training a child in the early modern period
Education was increasingly important in the early modern period with the rise of social mobility, but children were also put to work around the household.
How much has parenting actually changed since Shakespeare's time?
What did people think about childhood and parenting in early modern England? Did parents express fondness for their children? How did they discipline them?
The Cotswold Olympicks
The Ancient Greeks may hold the franchise on Olympic wrestling—but how would they have fared against a 17th-century British shin-kicker? In 1612 in the tiny village of Chipping Campden, Robert Dover opened the first Cotswold Olympicks, ushering in a…
Ask a Librarian: Summertime in Elizabethan England
Q: I know about Queen Elizabeth I’s summer progresses, but how did ordinary people spend their summers in Shakespeare’s time? A: For most Elizabethans, summer presented little opportunity for a vacation from regular work routines. There were still farms to tend,…
How Queen Elizabeth I spent her summer vacation
Elizabeth I arriving at Nonsuch, Franz Hogenberg after Georg Hoefnagel. Hand-colored engraving from Braun and Hogenberg’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ca. 1598. Folger Shakespeare Library. (Click the image to see a zoomable version in the Folger’s digital image collection.) You thought you had…