The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

XIV. Some Political and Social Aspects of the Later Elizabethan and Earlier Stewart Period


The following bibliography is not intended to suggest more than a selection of works which may be of service to a student of the political and social aspects of the Elizabethan age and that immediately following it, with special reference to the reflection of these sides of the national life in contemporary dramatic literature. For works on special sides of English life and society, see several bibliographies in Vol. IV of the present work, viz.: for agriculture and husbandry, industry and commerce, trade and finance, bibliography to Chap. XV; for London and popular literature (including Dekker’s series of tracts), bibliography to Chap. XVI; for country pursuits, bibliography to Chap. XVII; for seafaring and travel, bibliography to Chap. V; for the book-trade and conditions of authorship, bibliography to Chap. XVIII. As to schools and universities, see bibliography to Chap. XIX of Vol. III of the present work. For a bibliography of the Marprelate controversy, see bibliography to Chap. XVII of the same volume. For puritan writings mainly directed against the theatre, see bibliography to Chap. XIV in Vol. VI, post; and, for works referring to the history of the theatre at large, see bibliography to Chap. X in the same volume.

Short bibliographies of English social history are given in the useful, though unavoidably unequal, volumes of Traill, H. D., Social England, cited below.

A historical bibliography of the later years of Elizabeth will be found in the bibliography to Chap. X of Vol. III of the Cambridge Modern History. See, also, for this and the ensuing period, besides the Calendars of State Papers, Domestic, for the period in question, edited by Everett Green, M.A., the Hatfield Papers, Calendar of MSS. published by the Historical MSS. Commission, in a series of parts, from 1883 onwards. See, also, the series of original letters published by Sir H. Ellis, and the various collections of original letters published by the Camden Society. For details as to the Chronicles, see Chap. XV in Vol. III of the present work.

Besides the particular tracts cited below, there are many others which throw light on the social history of the period to be found in the Harleian Miscellany, the Roxburghe Library, the Somers Tracts, the Tudor and the Stuart Tracts (edited by Pollard, A. F., and Firth, C. H., respectively, rptd. from Arber, E. An English Garner) and in the publications of the Percy Society, the New Shakspere Society, the Early English Text Society, etc.


Bacon, Francis (Viscount St. Alban). Constables. In Works (1857–9), vol. VII.

—— Essays. With introductory notes, etc., by Abbott, E. A. 2 vols. 1876. Also ed. by West, A. S., Cambridge, 1897, and by Wright, W. Aldis, Golden Treasury Series, 1863.

Bansley, C. Treatise on the Pride and Abuse of Women. Rptd. 1841.

Brathwaite, Richard. The Smoking Age, or The Man in the Mist. 1617.

Camden, William. Britannia. 1586. Tr. and ed. by Gough, R. 4 vols. 1806.

Cunningham, P. Account of Revels at Court, under Elizabeth and James. Shakesp. Soc. Publ. 1842.

Davies, J. Discourse of Law and Lawyers. In Works, ed. Grosart, A. B., vol. II. 1876.

Dee, Dr. John, The Private Diary of. Ed. Halliwell[-Phillipps], J. O. Camden Soc. Publ. 1842.

Digges, Dudley. The compleat Ambassador. Two treaties of the intended marriage of Queen Elizabeth. 1655.

Earle, John (bishop of Salisbury). Microcosmographie. With introduction and notes by West, A. S. Cambridge, 1897.

Egerton Papers, the. Public and private documents, chiefly illustrative of the times of Elizabeth and James I. Ed. Collier, J. P. Camden Soc. Publ. 1840.

Festive Songs of the 16th and 17th centuries, with an introduction by Sandys, W. Percy Soc. Publ. (1848), vol. XXIII.

Feuillerat, A. Documents relating to the Office of the Revels in the time of Queen Elizabeth. Ed. with notes and indexes. Bang’s Materialien, vol. XXI.

Fugitive Tracts written in Verse which illustrate the condition of Religious and Political Feeling in England etc. First Series: 1403–1600. Privately ptd. [for H. Huth]. 1875.

Gifford, George. A Dialogue of Witches and Witchcraft. Percy Soc. Publ. (1843), vol. VIII.

Gondomar, Count de. Cino Cartas, 1613–22. 1869. [These letters contain many references to the state of English society at the time.]

Gosson, Stephen. Pleasant quippes for upstart newfangled gentlewomen. 1596. Rptd. 1841.

—— The School of Abuse. Ed. Collier, J. P. Shakesp. Soc. Publ. 1841. With A short apologie of the schoole of abuse. Ed. Arber, E. (English Reprints), 1868.

[Hales, J.] A Discourse of the Common Weal. Compendious examination of complaints. 1581. Ed. Lamond, E. Cambridge, 1893.

Halle, John (Chyrurgyen). An Historicall Expostulation: against the beastlye abusers, both of Chyrurgerie and Physyke in our time. Ed. Pettigrew, T. J. Percy Soc. Publ. (1844), vol. XI. [Published as an appendage to Lanfranc’s Chirurgia Parva.]

Harington, Sir John, and others. Nugae Antiquae. Ed. Harington, H., with illustrative notes by Park, T. 2 vols. 1804.

Harrison, William. Harrison’s Description of England in Shakspere’s Youth: Being Books II and III of his Description of Britaine and England. Ed. from the first two editions of Holinshed’s Chronicle (1577, 1587) with introduction, by Furnivall, F. J. Parts I, II and III (Supplement). New Shakesp. Soc. Publ. 1877–8. With Additions by Stopes, C. C. Part IV (Supplement). (New Shakespeare Library.) Selections from Books II and III. Ed. under the title Elizabethan England by Withington, L., with the introduction by Furnivall, F. J. (Scott Library.) [1899.]

Harvey, Gabriel. Letter-book (1573–80). Camden Soc. Publ. 1884.

Hentzner, Paul. Travels in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Tr. by Horace, late Earl of Orford. (With Sir Robert Naunton’s Fragmenta Regalia.) 1797. Also in Dodsley, Fugitive Pieces, vol. II. 1765. Abridged ed. by Morley, H. (Cassell’s National Library.)

Hutton, Henry. Follies Anatomie, or Satyres and Satyricall Epigrams. Ed. Rimbault, E. F. Percy Soc. Publ. (1842), vol. VI.

Inedited Tracts, illustrating the manners, opinions, and occupations of Englishmen during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a preface and notes [by Hazlitt, W. C.]. Ptd. for the Roxburghe Library. 1868. This collection comprises:

The English Courtier, and the Countrey-gentleman. Ptd. by Richard Jones. 1586.

[Markham, Gervase?] A Health to the Gentlemanly profession of Serving-men; or, the Servingman’s Comfort. Ptd. by W. W. 1598.

[Breton, N.] The Court and Country, or, A Briefe Discourse betweene the Courtier and Country-man of the Manner, Nature, and Condition of their lives. Also, necessary Notes for a Courtier. Written by N. B., Gent. 1618.

James I. A Counterblaste to Tobacco. Opera. 1689.

(Lane, John.) Tom Tel-Troths Message and Complaint. Written by Jo. La., Gent. 1600. New Shaksp. Soc. Publ. 1876. [Verse.]

Lyrical Poems, selected from musical publications, 1589–1600. Ed. Collier, J. M. Percy Soc. Publ. (1844), vol. XIII.

Meeting, the, of Gallants at an Ordinarie, or The Walkes in Powles. 1604. Ed. Halliwell [-Phillipps], J. O. Percy Soc. Publ. (1841), vol. V.

Monmouth, Robert Carey, Earl of. Memoirs, written by himself. (With Sir Robert Naunton’s Fragmenta Regalia.) 1808.

Monson, Sir W. Naval Tracts (1585–1603). 2 vols. 1902.

Naunton, Sir Robert. Fragmenta Regalia. (With Paul Hentzner’s Travels in England, tr. by Horace Walpole.) 1797. Also (with Robert Carey Earl of Monmouth’s Memoirs) 1808.

Northbrooke, John. Treatise against Dicing, Dancing, Plays. Ed., with notes, etc., by Collier, J. P. Shakesp. Soc. Publ. 1843.

Overbury, Sir Thomas. Miscellaneous works in verse and prose. With notes and biographical account by Rimbault, E. F. 1856.

Parkes, W. Curtaine Drawer of the World, or The Chamberlaine of the great Inne of Iniquity. Ptd. for L. Becket. 1612. [Copy in the Bodleian.]

Peacham, H. The Compleat Gentleman. 1622. Rptd. from ed. of 1624, and ed. by Gordon, G. S. Oxford. 1905.

Polimanteia, or The meanes lawfull and unlawfull, to judge of the fall of a commonwealth, against the frivolous and foolish conjectures of this age. Whereunto is added, A letter from England to her three daughters, Cambridge, Oxford, Innes of Court, etc. Cambridge, 1595. [The latter was rptd. by Grosart, A. B., in a limited number of copies.]

Powell, Thomas. Tom of all Trades, or, The Plaine Path-way to Preferment. 1631. New Shaksp. Soc. Publ. 1876.

Prothero, G. W. Select Statutes (1559–1625). 2nd ed. 1898.

Rich, Barnabe. The honestie of this age (1614). With introduction by Cunningham, P. Percy Soc. Publ. (1844), vol. XLIV.

Rowlands, Samuel. Complete Works, 1598 to 1628. 3 vols. Hunterian Club Publ. Glasgow, 1880.

—— The Four Knaves. A Series of Satirical Tracts. Ed. Rimbault, E. F. (The Knave of Clubbs; the Knave of Harts; the Knave of Spades and Diamonds.) Percy Soc. Publ. (1843), vol. IX. [Verse.]

Rye, W. B. England as seen by foreigners, in the days of Elizabeth and James. Translation of Journals of the two Dukes of Wirtenberg, 1592 and 1610, both illustrative of Shakespeare. With extracts from the travels of others. 1865.

Saviolo, Vincenzo, his Practise, in two Books. Dedicated to the Earl of Essex Master of the Horse. 1595.

Scot, Reginald. The Discovery of Witchcraft, whereunto is added a discourse of Devils and Spirits (1584). Ed. with notes by Nicholson, B. 1886.

Selden, John. The Duello, or Single Combat (1610). In Opera, vol. V, 3. 1, 1726.

[Stafford, William.] A compendious or briefe examination of certayne ordinary complaints, of divers of our country men in these our days.… By W. S. Guilleman, 1581. Ed. by Furnivall, F. J., with an Introduction by Matthew, F. D. New Shaksp. Soc. Publ. 1876.

State Trials; political and social. Ed. Stephen, H. L. 4 vols. 1899–1902.

Stow, John. A survey of London. 1598. Brought down to the present day by J. Strype. 2 vols. 1720. Ed. Thoms, W. J. 1876 (and other editions).

Stubbes, Philip. The Anatomie of Abuses Conteyning a Discoverie or Briefe Summarie, of such Notable Vices and Imperfections as now reign in many Christian countryes of the Worlde. 1583. 2 parts. Ed. Furnivall, F. J. New Shaksp. Soc. Publ. 1877–82.

Tell-Trothes New-yeares Gift Beeing Robin Good-fellowes newes out of those Countries, where inhabites neither Charity nor honesty. 1593. With a sequel, The Passionate Morrice, by A. 1593. New Shaksp. Soc. Publ. 1876.

Tusser, Thomas. Five hundred pointes of good husbandrie. With introduction, notes and glossary, by Payne, W. and Herrtage, S. J. English Dialect Society, vol. XXI. 1878.

Viles, E. and Furnivall, F. J. The Rogues and Vagabonds of Shakespeare’s Youth. Contains: Awdeley’s Fraternitye of Vacabondes (1560–1); Harman’s Caveat (1566–7); Haben (or Hyberdine)’s A Sermon in Praise of Thieves and Thievery; and the parts added to Harman’s Caveat to make The Groundworke of Conny-catching (1592). (The Shakespeare Library.) 1907.

Winwood, Sir Ralph. Memorials of Affairs of State in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I. 3 vols. 1725.

Wright, T. Queen Elizabeth and her times: Original letters. 2 vols. 1888.


Aikin, L. Memoirs of the Court of James I. 2nd ed. 1822.

Ashton, J. Humour, Wit and Society of the 17th century. 1883.

Bacon, Francis (Viscount St. Alban). Life and Letters. Ed. Spedding, J. 7 vols. 1861–74.

Besant, Sir W. London. 1892.

—— East London. 1901.

—— South London. 1899.

—— Westminster. 1895.

—— London in the Times of the Tudors. 1904.

Boas, Mrs. F. S. In Shakespere’s England. 1908.

Bourne, H. R. Fox. English Seamen under the Tudors (1485–1603). 2 vols. 1868.

Canning, A. S. G. Literary Influence in British History. 1904.

Child, Gilbert, W. Church and State under the Tudors. 1890.

Creighton, M. (Bp.). The Age of Elizabeth. 1892.

Creizenach. Vol. IV, part 1, book III. (Religiös-sittliche und politischsoziale Anschauungen der Theaterdichter.)

Cunningham, W. The growth of English industry and commerce in modern times. Part 1. 3rd ed. Cambridge, 1903.

Cunningham, W. and M’Arthur, E. A. Outlines of English Industrial History. 1895. New ed. 1898.

Dixon, R. W. History of the Church of England from the abolition of the Roman Jurisdiction. 6 vols. 1879–1903. (Vols. V and VI.)

Douce, F. Illustrations of Shakespeare, and of Ancient Manners. New ed. 1839.

Drake, Nathan. Shakespeare and his Times. 2 vols. 1827.

Fairholt, F. W. Tobacco; its history and associations. 1876.

—— Costume in England, to the end of the 18th century. Revised by Dillon, H. A. 3rd ed. 2 vols. 1885.

Frere, W. H. The English Church in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I (1553–1625). (Vol. V of W. Hunt and W. R. W. Stephens’s History of the English Church.) 1904.

Froude, J. A. History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada. Vols. VII–XII (Queen Elizabeth, to 1588). 1856–70.

Gee, H. The Elizabethan Clergy, 1558–1564. 1898.

Gildersleeve, Virginia C. Government Regulation of the Elizabethan Drama. New York, 1908.

Review of the above by Cunliffe, J. W., in Journal of English and Germanic Philology, vol. IX, no. 1, Urbana, Ill., 1910.

Goadby, E. The England of Shakespeare. New ed. 1889.

“Godfrey, Elizabeth” (Bedford, Jessie). Home Life under the Stuarts, 1603–49. 1903.

—— Social Life under the Stuarts. 1904.

Gotch, J. A. Architecture of the Renaissance in England. 2 vols. 1894.

Grose, F. Military Antiquities respecting a History of the British Army. New ed. 2 vols. 1807.

Hall, Hubert. Society in the Elizabethan Age. 4th ed. 1901.

Hazlitt, W. C. Old Cookery books and ancient Cuisine. 1886.

—— Gleanings in old garden literature. 1887.

Henson, H. H. Dissent in England. (1558–1604.) Two lectures. 1900.

Huber, V. A. English Universities. Abridged Translation. 2 vols. 1843.

Hume, M. A. S. The Year after the Armada, and other historical studies. 1896.

James I.—Govett, L. A. The King’s own Book of Sports. History of the declarations of James I as to sports on Sunday, etc. 1890.

—— Secret History of the Court of James I. Contains: Osborne’s Traditional Memoirs; Sir Anthony Weldon’s Court and character of James; Aulicus coquinariae; Sir E. Peyton, Divine Catastrophe of the House of Stuart. [Ed. Scott, Sir W.] 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1811.

Jessopp, A. One generation of a Norfolk House. Norwich, 1879.

—— Origin and Growth of English Towns. In Historical Studies. 1893.

Jusserand, J. J. Histoire littéraire du peuple Anglais. Vol. II: De la Renaissance à la guerre Civile. (Esp. book V, chap. I: La Reine et son Royaume.) Paris, 1904. E. tr. (amplified). 1909.

Lang, A. (ed.). Social England Illustrated. Arber’s English Garner. 1903.

Lee, S. (ed.). An account of Shakespeare’s England; a survey of social life and conditions in the Elizabethan Age. By various writers. Oxford. (Preparing for publication.)

Liebe, C. Der Arzt im Elizabethanischen Drama. (Diss.) Halle, 1907.

Lingard, J. History of England. Vols. VII–X (Elizabeth to Charles I) 4th ed. 1826.

Lodge, E. Illustrations of British History, Biography and Manners, from Henry VIII to James I, in papers from MSS. of the families of Howard, Talbot and Cecil. 2nd ed. 3 vols. 1838.

Loftie, W. J. Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren: the rise and decline of modern architecture in England. 1893.

Maitland, F. W. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge, 1908.

Manchester, W. D. Montagu, Duke of. Court and Society from Elizabeth to Anne. From the papers at Kimbolton. Vol. I. 1864.

Marcks, E. Königin Elisabeth von England und ihre Zeit. (Monographieen zur Weltgeschichte.) Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1897.

Maurenbrech, W. England im Reformationszeitalter. 1860.

Montague, F. C. The Old Poor-Law. 1886.

Mullinger, J. B. History of the University of Cambridge (1535–1625). 1884.

Mumby, F. A. The Girlhood of Queen Elizabeth. 1909. [Contains original letters.]

Neal, Daniel. History of the Puritans, or Nonconformists. 1517–1688. New ed. 3 vols. 1823.

Newdigate-Newdegate, Lady. Gossip from a muniment room: Passages in the lives of Anne and Mary Fytton, 1574–1618. 1898.

Nicholls, G. History of the Poor Law. 2 vols. 1854.

Nichols, J. The Progresses and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth. New ed. 3 vols. 1823.

—— The Progresses, Processions and Festivities of King James I and his Court. 4 vols. 1828.

Oppenheim, M. History of Naval Administration (1509–1660). 1896.

Roberts, G. The social history of the people of the southern counties of England in past centuries, illustrated with regard to their habits, municipal bye-laws, civil progress, etc. 1856.

Schelling, F. E. The Queen’s Progress and other Elizabethan Sketches. (n. d.)

Sheavyn, Phoebe. The Literary Profession in the Elizabethan Age. Manchester, 1809.

Smith, E. (of Walthamstow). Foreign visitors in England and what they have thought of us. 1889.

Smith, Logan Pearsall. The Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton. 2 vols. Oxford, 1907.

Stählin, K. Sir Francis Walsingham und seine Zeit. Vol. I. Heidelberg, 1908.

Stephenson, H. Thew. The Elizabethan People. 1910.

Strutt, Joseph. Dress and habits of the People of England. 2 vols. 1796–9.

Strype, John. Annals of the Reformation. New ed. 4 vols. in 7. Oxford, 1824.

—— Historical collection of the life of John Aylmer. Oxford, 1821.

—— Life and Acts of M. Parker, Archbp. 3 vols. Oxford, 1821.

—— Life and Acts of J. Whitgift, Archbp. 3 vols. Oxford, 1822.

—— Life of E. Grindal, Archbp. Oxford, 1821.

Synge, M. B. A Short History of Social Life in England. 1906.

Thornbury, G. W. Shakespere’s England; or, Sketches of our Social History in the Reign of Elizabeth. 2 vols. 1856. 3rd ed. 1902.

Traill, H. D. Social England. Vol. III (Henry VIII to Elizabeth); vol. IV (James I to Anne). 3rd ed. 1904.

Vatke, T. Culturbilder aus Alt-England. Berlin, 1887.

Wakeman, H. O. The Church and the Puritans, 1570–1660. 1887. New ed. 1902.

Ward, A. W. Introduction to Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and Greene’s Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. 4th ed. Oxford, 1901. [pp. XLVIII ff. on popular belief in witchcraft and magic in England, as reflected in the drama].

Watson, F. The English Grammar Schools to 1660: their Curriculum and Practice. Cambridge, 1908. [Valuable bibliographical information.]

Wheatley, H. B. London past and present. Based upon P. Cunningham’s Handbook of London. 3 vols. 1891.

Winter, W. Shakespeare’s England. 1894.

An account of books and pamphlets prohibited in England, from 1530 onwards, by royal proclamation, or suppressed by order of the Star Chamber or the High Commission Court, or (as time went on) of the House of Commons, or otherwise, will be found in W. H. Hart’s Index Expurgatorius Anglicanus, of which five parts appeared, 1872 to 1878. References to this valuable, though uncompleted, collection will be found in later volumes of the present work.