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Title: Representations and experiences of place : the Islands of Sheppey in the late medieval and early modern period
Author: Caiazza, Melanie Grace
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 2637
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2009
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Places were important physical and cultural spaces in the late medieval and early modem period. This thesis examines the diversity, complexity and evolution of making meaning in relation to specific places, land and dwellings, within a small island community in northeast Kent known as the Islands of Sheppey, Harty and Elmley. The method used was thematic; with each chapter presenting a case for the understanding of places as physically and culturally complex spaces. Chapter I provides a context for localised study in relation to wider research which has focused on the study of island settlements, landscape and cultural history. Chapter 2 introduces a theoretical framework for visual and textual conceptualisations of landscape spaces whilst also introducing how biographical writings, such as the last will and tcstamen4 imaginatively narrate landscape spaces on the islands. Chapter 3 presents a chronological history of the evolving physical landscape into specific social settlements on the islands. Chapter 4 examines how the relationship between religious places, such as the Minster on Sheppey, shaped local religious practices unique to the island, such as burial at the Minster church and naming of daughters after local Anglo-Saxon women saints. The changes and continuities in beliefs and practices were intrinsically linked to the physical and local landscape. Chapter 5 examines estate maps of the islands; visually exploitive spatial perspectives commissioned by the Crown and wealthy landholders whilst Chapter 6 investigates indigenous textual mappings of the islands, specifically the last will and testament. Chapters 7 and 8 examine the relationship between inheritance strategies and locally adapted descriptions of places, with particular reference to the role of the family as integral to place description, remembrance and inheritance. It is suggested, by the collective and cumulative nature of all eight chapters, that medieval and early modem island studies are an important contribution to national religious and social history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: D History General and Old World ; DA Great Britain