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'To Knowe a Gentilman': Men and Gentry Culture in Fifteenth Century Yorkshire

James, Alison (2012) 'To Knowe a Gentilman': Men and Gentry Culture in Fifteenth Century Yorkshire. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This is a study of gentry culture, specifically the culture of gentry males in fifteenth century Yorkshire. Its aim is to examine what it meant to be a gentleman in this period, looking at how gentry males defined themselves as gentlemen, what was expected of them and what they expected of others. A single county has been chosen to allow for more detailed examination of the evidence than would be possible in a wider study, with this county in particular chosen for the richness and variety of its sources. The range and quality of sources is important, for this is an interdisciplinary study which makes used of a varied collection of evidence in order to gain the fullest picture possible of gentry culture in this period. Through a series of case studies, each focusing on a particular piece, or collection of pieces, of evidence to include chancery documents, wills, letters, art and architecture, I will identify several themes integral to the construction of identity for gentry males. In looking specifically at gentlemen, rather than gentlewomen or the gentry in general, this thesis will consider questions not only of status but also of gender, a combination of factors that have seldom been considered in previous scholarship. It is hoped that this this new perspective, combined with the interdisciplinary nature of the study, something that has also seldom been been attempted, will prove useful in gaining a greater understanding of what it meant to be a gentleman in late medieval England. By extension, it is intended that this will contribute towards a greater understanding of late medieval society as a whole.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Fifteenth-century Gentry Culture
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Medieval Studies (York)
Depositing User: Miss Alison James
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2013 09:46
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3819

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