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date: 15 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores how domestic manuals work internally — what their prose form might be able to tell us about the way they were used and their potential impact on their early modern readers. In doing so, it addresses the way prose writers explored the connections between individuals within a household, and investigates their methods for forging links between theory and practice. The focus is on texts about domestic behaviour, as opposed to volumes on household work and on husbandry. The former are more conceptual, laying out ideals of conduct based largely on Biblical principle, whereas the latter treat the practical tasks of domestic labour — the preparation of food or the types of medicine which the housewife might need to administer, and the tilling of the soil and the successful cultivation of various crops and animals.

Keywords: English prose, prose writing, domestic manuals, household tasks, prose writers, domestic labour

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