Despite its expansive title, this book has at its heart a study of 188 probate inventories from seventeenth-century Thame, a small market town in Oxfordshire. Parts of the book concern this local study: Chapter 1 provides the social and economic context of early modern Thame. Chapters 3 to 5 examine in detail the domestic objects recorded in Thame’s probate inventories under the themes of “foodstuff provisioning, processing and cooking,” “commensality and conviviality,” and “rest and security.” Chapter 7 looks at particular examples of Thame households. However, other sections of the book do something much more innovative, exploring and developing an interdisciplinary concept of “domestic culture.” The introduction provides a dizzying tour of approaches from philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology, as well as history, to the house and household, before settling predominantly on Bourdieu’s idea of the “habitus” combined with Geertz’s “thick description” of a small community. Chapter 2 focuses on...
Domestic Culture in Early Modern England. By Antony Buxton (Rochester, The Boydell Press, 2015) 302 pp. $120.00
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Jane Whittle; Domestic Culture in Early Modern England. By Antony Buxton (Rochester, The Boydell Press, 2015) 302 pp. $120.00. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2016; 47 (3): 415–416. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_01030
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