The Elizabethan world witnessed some of the most momentous and memorable events in English history. This course will focus on the experiences and reactions of individuals to these changes, events and issues, as well as exploring the ways in which people lived, worked and survived this era of rapid change.
Elizabethan England was an exciting and turbulent place in which to live. International exploration and the growth of a global economy combined with the emergence of new ideas about religion and the way that society worked to create a vibrant cultural life. The legacy of Elizabethan society persists today, in the works of William Shakespeare and a continuing fascination with the lives of Elizabeth I and her subjects. Elizabeth’s Protestant religious settlement established the basis of the Church of England that survives today but called into question her subjects’ beliefs and ways of making sense of the world around them. It also brought England into conflict with Catholic powers, with a constant threat of invasion and warfare. This course will look at a range of aspects of life in Elizabethan society, from everyday life in the counties to life in towns and the great city of London. Students will be invited to explore a range of contemporary source materials, from private correspondence and printed materials to portraits and woodcut images. We will also pay attention to what material culture can tell us, considering architecture and gardens as well as textiles and the surviving materials of domestic life.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.