Life in Elizabethan England Next

Still More Things To Do

Try reading.

Title Page Everyone is literate (with the odd exception of the 1st earl of Pembroke). Also, most people read out loud, even when alone.

Councilors and border wardens and generals have reports to read. Or you may have reports from your steward(s) to consider.

Others may spend time with the Classics (Greek and Latin)or modern authors: Montaigne's Essays, if your French is good. Or Cervantes, if you have any Spanish. Castiglione, if you have kept up your Italian. If not, you can read Thomas Hoby's translation of The Courtier in 1561.

Chaucer is popular, even though someone antique. Aubrey said the countess of Pembroke had the works of Chaucer "at her fingers' ends." Other romances are available in French and Italian..

And there are devotional books (as well as the Bible) for both Catholics and protestants.

Writing letters

Sending messages is exactly like calling someone on the phone.

People send messages back and forth all day in all directions, whether around the Palace, to the house next door, across the city, or out to the countryside.

These may be no more than brief notes, inquiring after health or inviting to dine, reminding you of favors owed, or notifying you that the Queen has decided to hunt your deer park next week.

More on Writing Letters

Writing poetry

One does not publish, but one may circulate one's poems in manuscript among friends. That's how the sonnets of Shakespeare, Sidney, and others originally appeared.

Translation and other study

Not merely for students and professionals, this is open to ladies as well as gentlemen. Well-known lady scholars include the countess of Pembroke and the baroness Lumley.

Mildred, Lady Burghley and the other daughters of Anthony Coke were also notably learned ladies. Do not call them "blue-stockings" as that term won't be available till about 1790.

And of course, depending on your age, sex, and inclination:

Walking in the gardens
Shopping in the City ("going to the shops")
Having your fortune told
Visiting friends
Negotiating a marriage contract
Planning your daughter's wedding
Having tradesmen in to show you their wares
Seeing a physician
Disciplining your servants
Hanging out in taverns
Gambling, and patronizing various low establishments on the wrong side of town. (See also Shopping in London)
::  Games
::  Filling the Time
::  More Things To Do
::  The Hunt is Up ::  Now Merrily to Horse
::  A Cry of Hounds

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23 July 2005 pkm