Identity and Agency in England, 1500–1800

  • Henry French
  • Jonathan Barry

About this book


This collection of essays is arranged around the central issue raised by a raft of new empirical research - the relationship between social identity, or the 'vision of the self', and the ways in which this can explain historical agency. If identities in early modern society were multiple, complex, and dependent on context, rather than homogenous, consistent, or easily determined, then it is difficult to make simple causal links to behaviour. This collection aims to make innovative new research on the structures of English society available to the wider scholarly audience. The essays use a number of detailed contextual case studies to explore the twin themes of the nature of identities in early modern society, and their role in influencing historical agency. They examine the variety of identities available to individuals in early modern England, and the ways in which these were invoked and employed.


bibliography England equality essay event experience French gender knowledge model nature seventeenth century singular society structure

Editors and affiliations

  • Henry French
    • 1
  • Jonathan Barry
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ExeterUK
  2. 2.Sociological & Political StudiesUniversity of ExeterUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-51352-9
  • Online ISBN 978-0-230-52310-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site