University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars > "On or about/In and upon": ‘dating statements’ and the rise of ‘almanac time’ in early modern England

"On or about/In and upon": ‘dating statements’ and the rise of ‘almanac time’ in early modern England

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This paper examines the ‘time consciousness’ of the common people in early modern England through the systematic study of the idioms used by them to date events. Samples of ‘dating statements’ in which witnesses attempted to date an event witnessed in the past reveal coexisting ways of locating events in time and shifts in their relative importance between the sixteenth and the early eighteenth centuries. These variants and changes are explained in terms of the forms of time consciousness appropriate to different ‘communities of practice’ and the rise of what I call ‘almanac time’.

This talk is part of the Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminars series.

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