Understanding Elizabethan Society (HIH1604)
Elizabethan England is commonly held to have been a rigidly-ordered, hierarchical society, with well-defined roles for its members at all levels. This, at least, is how Elizabethan writers presented their world. In this module, we will begin by examining three eyewitness accounts of society in the time of Elizabeth I, and subsequently use a diverse range of sources to test how reliable these accounts are, and how useful they can be to someone seeking to understand how society really worked. By the end of the module, you will have encountered most of the kinds of sources available to historians of early modern England, and have explored the links between social structure, culture, and politics.