Themes in Literature

Literary Guild

Guilds were associations of men and sometimes women that performed a combination of social, religious, and economic activities. More prevalent in urban areas, they tended to be either parish organizations created to perform religious devotions, or craft or trade fellowships designed to regulate their organizations (membership, craft standards, and other activities), protect their business from… Continue reading Literary Guild

English Literature


Church writers, national and local administrations, and interested observers of society regularly condemned their contemporaries’ extravagant behavior and appearance. Manners, carriage, gestures, diet, drink, clothing, makeup, and hairstyles all formed a complex aggregation thought to be specific to particular estates, classes, genders, sexualities, and occupations (see “Feasts,” p. 190). The pestilences of the later fourteenth… Continue reading Sumptuary