The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year, 1400-1700

Synopsis

An entertaining book that breaks new scholarly ground, The Rise and Fall of Merry England explores the rituals which marked the passage of the year in late medieval and early modern England. Treating both religious and secular rituals, and both popular and elite ones, Hutton tells how they altered over time in response to political, religious, and social change. He also addresses some key issues in English history: the character and pace of the Reformation; the context of beloved writers like Ben Jonson and Robert Herrick; the origins of the science of folklore; and the impact of the English Revolution. A comprehensive work that breaks several frontiers, this highly readable book will delight all those interested in English history and folklore.