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The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Renaissance England (Writer's Guides to Everyday Life) Hardcover – September, 1996

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Feeling a bit "elf-shot" these days? Perusing this recent addition to the Writer's Digest's Writer's Guide history series will take your mind off such troubles. It has information on everything from Shakespearean-era postal systems to waterways to holidays to diets; it also defines contemporaneous lingo like the aforementioned supernatural malady. It's the next best thing to a time machine.
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Product Details

  • Series: Writer's Guides to Everyday Life
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; First Edition edition (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898797527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898797527
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If your interest in the Renaissance centers on 16th century England, then this book's for you. With chapters arranged by broad subjects, such as Everyday Life, Government and War, and Society, it's easy to locate topics. If you are looking for a quick reference tool specific to the English Renaissance, this book belongs in your collection
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Format: Hardcover
Not just for writers, but historians, hobbyists, and anyone interested in the small details of life in other times. This volume, like the others in the series, includes chapters (with figures and illustrations) on food, clothing, family life, work, education, religion, leisure activities, social and political history, etc. Great for browsing, great for research. Recommended.
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By A Customer on March 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Writer's Guide to Renaissance England is a fantastic resource for everything to Elizabethan clothing, to what they ate, what they believed in and anything you need to research an aspect of English Renaissance culture. It's descriptive, thoural, and extreemely helpful.
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Format: Hardcover
Most Americans who would be interested in such things, after all, have probably visited a Colonial reconstruction (like Williamsburg) at some point, and seen the artifacts of the period up close and personal, so it doesn't matter too much that the volume this series offers about Colonial America isn't too well supplied with pictures. But visual recreations of Elizabethiana are thinner on the ground, and it would have helped to have been able to see something of the objects described (I had to haul out one of my costume references to comprehend the description of Anne Boleyn's trademark headdress, for example). That much said, the book is packed with useful information ranging from plots against the Virgin Queen to how much things cost to education, language (including the Scots dialect), and witchcraft. And it offers sizeable bibliographies of other books to seek out in connection with various specialized subjects. On balance, I have to say that I got a lot out of it, and would recommend it as a good jumping-off place for students as well as writers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Holy smokes. These series of books are excellent! They go over the kind of information I really hoped it would. It fully met my expectations and exceeded them a little too. If you want to know all the sorts of things that made this age unique in daily life Renaissance England, this is exactly what you need. I'm extremely pleased with the purchase and you will be too. I guarantee it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had a good time reading through this book. Lots of interesting stuff and the detail appears good. This is necessarily an overview, but the narrative is very well done, and as comprehensive as it can be when a not overlarge book is covering 164 years of everything that went on in a whole country. What is great about this book, is that Kathy Lynn Emerson has put a bibliography at the end of each chapter, as well as a general bibliography at the end of the book.

I've read a lot of books about the Tudors, and I was still surprised with details I didn't know. For example, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the English used the name "Narrow Seas" for the English Channel. And can you guess what we now call the German Ocean?

I do still have one question, though. The chapter on money explains that a penny or pence (plural of penny) are noted as a "d", such as
13s 4d
means 13 shillings and 4 pence,
but not why a "d" came to mean a penny.

The book is divided into three broad parts, each part divided into more specific chapters:
Part 1: Everyday Life
Clothes and Accessories, Food and Drink, Architecture, Furnishing a House, Marriage and Family, Physic and Physicians
Part 2: Government and War
Government, Monarchs, Nobles and Commoners, Crime and Punishment, Coins, Money and How Much Things Cost, War and Peace, A Seafaring Nation
Part 3: Renaissance Society
Education: Secular and Religious, Employment, Entertainment, Language, Life in London and Other Cities, Rural Life, Travel and Travelers, Witches, Magic, Necromancy and Superstition

This is a nice reference book, and I like the professional way the author lists further reading if you require more detail.

P.S. The German Ocean is now called the North Sea.

Happy Reader
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish I'd had this reference earlier. It is well organized and is packed with detailed information on all aspects of Renaissance England. I've been researching this period for years and still find much I didn't know. It also clarifies some of the things I've found difficult to research. For example, there's an excellent list of alternative cosmetics to ceruse, which I found very interesting. This is an excellent addition to my research library!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is brilliant. It is packed full of very useful information. I like how it is split up into sections. It makes finding what you are looking for much easier. Would recommend to any Historical Fiction writer.
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