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Title: Performing consumption and consuming performance : a 17th century play collection
Author: Kirk, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 6739
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the relationship between performance and consumption in relation to play collection in the 1630s, and also examines the wider contexts of performance and consumption in that decade. It proposes that the 1630s were a decade characterised by particularly self-conscious performances of consumption, and that this environment contributed directly to the beginnings of the collection of books for display purposes. A focus on the Petworth collection and its original collector is maintained throughout the thesis, which weaves together the material and literary content of the collection. Using material evidence from the volumes themselves, this thesis demonstrates that the collection was purchased in 1638 by the 10th Earl of Northumberland through an agent who assembled the collection specifically for the Earl just prior to his purchase of it. It also demonstrates, again using evidence from the volumes themselves, that the purchase was partly informed by principles of education, personal taste and a consideration for family history, but that the overwhelming motive was the drive to consume and to perform that consumption. Using the literary content of the collection to explore representations of performed consumption, this thesis tracks the development of the conceptualisation of consumption on the stage from the wariness about dangerous consumption in the late Elizabethan period to the much more open, and yet still rather complex, attitudes of the 1630s. Finally, the thesis discusses some other kinds of public, performed consumption, including a procession by Northumberland and an entertainment with which he was connected, exploring the explicitly social elements of performance. The Petworth play collection is at once anomalous and typical as an example of mid-17th century book collection, and it can be used to illustrate and map the multitude of issues, concepts and attitudes which surround performance, consumption and collection in the 1630s, and beyond.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR0431 17th century ; PR0621 Drama ; PR1098 Collections of English literature