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Title: Elite landscapes in late medieval and early modern East Anglia : families, residences and the development of exclusivity
Author: Dallas, Patricia
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the changing boundaries between the elite and the vernacular landscape during the fifteenth, sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The study takes an explicitly individualistic approach, considering the careers, allegiances, relationships and ambitions of the people who created and inhabited elite landscapes. By including historicised biographies within the framework of a regional landscape study it has been possible to look beneath broad cultural and social themes and identify some of the motives and ambitions that may have influenced the development of exclusivity at particular locations. For the purposes of this thesis exclusivity refers to the process of expanding the area of demesne in order to create consciously orchestrated elite landscapes. This thesis will argue that a range of scenarios expressed the exclusivity of the elite landscape and demarcated it from the vernacular. The ability to control and direct movement around and through elite landscapes was an important aspect of exclusivity, access to some areas being denied, whilst being actively encouraged where status-display was the paramount concern. Impressions of rank and superiority were conveyed by the careful management of potential interaction with various social groups, different messages being presented to audiences depending on their perceived position in society. The period under consideration is usually divided between the specialisms of medieval and early modern history and is rarely considered as a unity. However, by dismissing conventional periodisation it has been possible to examine the processes that gradually changed the relationship between residences, elite households and their surroundings. The research presented here traces the rise and decline of families and their houses as they responded to the challenges and opportunities offered during a time of momentous change. Detailed micro-studies have been combined with a synthesis of evidence from a multiplicity of sources and set within the context of the transition from medieval to early-modern society. The adoption of the Landscape Approach has provided a framework within which theoretical concepts could be tested by empirical research. The resulting thesis argues that the expansion of exclusivity promoted the development of landscapes that were designed to legitimise the status and authority of the people who created them and provide them with idealised settings for their residences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available