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Domestic Life and Domestic Tragedy in Early Modern EnglandThe Material Life of the Household$
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Catherine Richardson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719065446

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719065446.001.0001

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A Yorkshire Tragedy

A Yorkshire Tragedy

(p.175) 6 A Yorkshire Tragedy
Domestic Life and Domestic Tragedy in Early Modern England

Catherine Richardson

Manchester University Press

Perhaps the overriding meanings of ‘household’ in A Yorkshire Tragedy are family and lineage, and it offers a complex examination of the intergenerational pull of the ‘house’ as contained by the family seat. It is in the context not only of his role as head of his nuclear family but also as representative of his ancestral heritage that the husband's actions are judged, resulting in a play whose temporal perspective is as wide as that of A Woman Killed With Kindness. A Yorkshire Tragedy treats the familiar domestic themes of the pain of familial rupture and the relationship between household and community, but it does so in a very different theatrical form. The opening scene, in which the servants discuss their London wares, has a familiar social particularity to it, but the rest of the play is totally dissimilar in tone: the physical articulation of rooms and spaces and specifically localised areas of the house are pared down to one significant example. Images that connect earth to heaven, soiling money to ethereal purity, set the play firmly within the morality tradition.

Keywords:   household, Yorkshire Tragedy, family, lineage, house, community, morality

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