An archaeology of manners : the polite world of the merchant elite in colonial Massachusetts /
Lorinda B.R. Goodwin.
New York : Kluwer Academic/Plenum, c1999.
xx, 233 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
More Details
New York : Kluwer Academic/Plenum, c1999.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 213-224) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-01-01:
Goodwin's study deals with the first generation of early English colonists in America--a self-made, nouveau riche merchant class. They did not share the traditional English systems of gentility and social structure, but formulated their own set of rules for mannerly behavior. Goodwin believes merchants used their rules to separate themselves from others in the larger group and to provide a cultural legitimacy to the power and prestige that came with their newfound wealth. The author combines historical texts with patterns of artifact use to identify the material consequences of gentility. She concludes that ideas of good manners, style, and taste are reflected in artifacts. She also demonstrates that as time passed, the newly rich changed their artifacts to insure that they would continue to be set apart from the nonelites. Goodwin's writing style is clear and concise, and her organization is logical. The first chapter supplies the theoretical background. The second and third provide historical context, and the fourth presents the material culture correlates. The fifth chapter focuses on the roles women played in perpetuating their culture, and the final chapter presents concluding arguments. Recommended for students of material culture at all levels. T. A. Foor; University of Montana
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Choice, January 2000
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Main Description
This book employs historical archaeological evidence to demonstrate how polite rituals reproduced the social and material world of commerce in colonial Massachusetts. The author situates artifacts within the social contexts descibed in contemporary letters and diaries and depicted in literature and art and demonstrates how the New English merchants selected and adapted contemporary British manners to create a new American form of polite behavior.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Polite World of the Merchant Elite of Colonial Massachusettsp. 1
Historical Archaeology, Merchants, and Mannersp. 4
Theoretical Orientationp. 7
Scope of this Bookp. 8
Summary of Chaptersp. 10
Conclusionp. 13
History, Archaeology, and the Ideal World of Mannersp. 15
Introductionp. 15
The Evolution of Courtesy Literaturep. 16
Contemporary Views and the Several Parts of Mannerly Behaviorp. 32
Research on Manners in Anthropology, History, and Historical Archaeologyp. 39
Archaeology, Merchants, and Manners in Colonial Massachusettsp. 44
Conclusionp. 47
The Merchant Community in Massachusetts and Englandp. 49
Introductionp. 49
Merchants and Social Status in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century England and New Englandp. 52
The New England Merchant Elitep. 60
The Data: Three Merchant Familiesp. 67
Historical Archaeology and Merchant Sitesp. 89
Conclusionp. 95
Material Expressions of Mannerly Behaviorp. 99
Introductionp. 99
Material Culture, Consumption, and Identityp. 101
Conclusionp. 155
Manners and Women's Roles in Merchant Societyp. 157
Introductionp. 157
Researching Women in the Pastp. 158
Women, Work, and Manners in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuriesp. 161
Elite Women's Roles in the Merchant Worldp. 172
Conclusionp. 193
Conclusion: An Archaeology of Mannersp. 197
Introductionp. 197
Manners as Boundariesp. 198
Manners as Bridgesp. 200
Manners as Frontiersp. 201
Historical Archaeology, Material Culture, and Mannersp. 207
Referencesp. 213
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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