The role of the park and the experience of hunting in East Anglia, 1500-1700

Fletcher, Stephen (2021) The role of the park and the experience of hunting in East Anglia, 1500-1700. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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George Gascoigne (1534/5?-1577) and Gervase Markham (1568?-1637) had much in common. Both were from well-connected families of landed country gentry who served as soldiers of fortune in the Low Countries. They were both playwrights and were also renowned authors of numerous works of prose and poetry on a wide range of subjects. What links them most of all however, is a personal experience and understanding of early modern English hunting culture which is articulated in their own popular and widely read instructional manuals. Despite writing decades apart, they each identify the senses as key elements of the hunt. These highly personalised descriptions of the effect of hunting on both the mind and body provide an insight into how this activity was perceived in early modern culture. This suggests that the experience derived from taking part in a hunt was paramount.

This thesis is concerned with the role of parks and the experience of hunting within these landscapes between 1500 and 1700. It will be divided into two parts. In this introductory chapter in Part 1 recent scholarship on parks, hunting and phenomenology will be reviewed. This chapter will continue with a consideration of the primary source material with a particular focus on contemporary maps and literature, including hunting treatises and manuals. Part 1 will then proceed with a discussion of trends in imparkment and disparkment and be followed by an in-depth examination of the form and function of deer parks during this period. Chapter 4 will consider what contemporary texts can tell us about hunting in parks. Part 1 will conclude with a chapter focusing on the form and function of park buildings and how these were utilised by park owners.

Part 2 will begin with a critical evaluation of phenomenological theory and methodologies. This will be followed by an examination of the role of sound in the hunting experience which is informed by sources including diaries, manuals, prose, plays, poetry and ballads. The experience of illegal hunting in the form of poaching will be the focus of the following chapter. Part 2 will conclude with three case studies which will test some of the phenomenological methodologies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2022 13:38
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2022 13:38


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