By Lorinda B.R. Goodwin

This e-book employs historic archaeological proof to exhibit how well mannered rituals reproduced the social and fabric international of trade in colonial Massachusetts. the writer situates artifacts in the social contexts descibed in modern letters and diaries and depicted in literature and paintings and demonstrates how the hot English retailers chosen and tailored modern British manners to create a brand new American kind of well mannered habit.

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Extra resources for An Archaeology of Manners: The Polite World of the Merchant Elite of Colonial Massachusetts (Contributions To Global Historical Archaeology)

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I have used the presence of material culture carefully, trying to make connections when supported by primary sources that state preference, action, or intent. Rather than focusing on the more personal expressions of meaning of artifacts, I have addressed the most public expressions of polite behavior and issues of group identity. Starting with the base of my own archaeological data on the Turners and their contemporaries in Salem and elsewhere in Massachusetts, I have added the documentary data from the Mascarene and Earle families for comparative purposes and supportive evidence.

Etiquette is a much later addition, being introduced into English by Lord Chesterfield in 1750 (Oxford English Dictionary, 901. s. v. etiquette). It is derived from the French “ l’estiquette ” referring to a “ticket,” or instructions that were posted on a castle wall. It refers to the prescribed ceremony of court and precedence or the conventional rules of personal behavior. For the purposes of this study, I define manners or mannerly behavior as the embrace and practice of prescribed, formalized behavior (in everyday life as well as in special, ritualized events) with the intent of promoting a particular sort of society.

The selections tended to be pious and conservative and the volume was one that Benjamin Franklin recommended to his own daughter (Benson 1935: 22–23). What had its origin in Italy was appropriated, reinterpreted, and reinvigorated for English readers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Courtesy works from France also found their way to England in translation and in the original. A selective process that had begun with the influence of della Casa and Erasmus was continued, with English readers and translators choosing what suited their tastes and society.

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