Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560-1640 by Paul Griffiths

Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560-1640

Paul Griffiths
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Annotation

It is now well known that there was a separate age of youth in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century society (and before) but in much of the writing on this subject, youth has emerged as a passive construct of the adult society, lacking formative experiences. Paul Griffiths seeks to redress this imbalance by presenting a more 'positive' image of young people, showing that they had a creative presence, an identity, and a historical significance which has never been fully explored. The author looks beyond the prescriptive codes of moralists and governors to survey the attitudes and activities of young people, examining their responses to authority and to the 'ideal place' for them in the social order, as understood by contemporary magistrates and moralists. He sheds new light on issues as diverse as juvenile delinquency, masculinity, the celebration of Shrovetide, sexual behaviour and courtship, clothing, catechizing, officeholding, vocabularies of insult, prostitution, and church seating plans. His research reveals much about the nature of youth culture, religious commitment, and master/servant relations, and leads to the identification of a social milieu of 'masterless' young people.

Publisher Description

In this new work, Paul Griffiths surveys the attitudes and activities of young people, examining their reaction to authority and to society's concept of the ideal place' for them in the social order. He sheds new light on issues as diverse as juvenile delinquency, masculinity, sexual behavior and courtship, clothing, catechizing, office-holding, and church seating plans. His research reveals much about the nature of youth culture, religious commitment, and master/servant relations, and leads to the identification of a separate milieu of masterless' young people.

Review
contains a wealth of fresh information ... He richly documents a host of topics relating to the young ... a substantial contribution to early modern social history. A. L. Beier, Urban History The source base is large and Griffiths makes particularly good use of municipal court records, asking plenty of interesting questions and discovering the material to supply the answers. The bibliography will be a wonderful tool for future researchers. Linda Pollock, Tulane University, The Economic History Review, Volume L, No. 1, February 1997

Author Biography

The author of numerous books on music, and for many years chief music critic on The Times, Paul Griffiths now writes regularly for The New Yorker. He is the author of Bartok (Master Musicians Series, J.M. Dent, 1984), Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of 20th-Century Music (1986), Stravinsky (Master
Musicians, 1992), and a contributor to The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera (1994).

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Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560-1640