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Sociability and Power in Late Stuart EnglandThe Cultural Worlds of the Verneys 1660-1720$
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Susan E. Whyman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250233.001.0001

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London Modes of Sociability: The Visit and the Coach

London Modes of Sociability: The Visit and the Coach

(p.86) (p.87) 4 London Modes of Sociability: The Visit and the Coach
Sociability and Power in Late Stuart England

Susan E. Whyman

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the development of a polite urban culture in new ways. It shows how John learned the rules of politeness while he was still a merchant. Long before John inherited, he learned the rules of London's polite society. It was symbolised by the urban visit and the conspicuous use of the coach. The discussion illustrates the development of politeness by describing John's entry into society. It shows how a group of supposedly dependent women controlled daily rites of sociability. The dynamic, urban culture that confronted John was a blend of civic humanism, natural law, and commercial inputs. London was its location, politeness its doctrine, and courtesy manuals its texts. The gentleman became its ideal type. Unlike previous generations, John made use of the London marriage market.

Keywords:   London, coach, sociability, urban visit, politeness, marriage market, dependent women, social code, hospitality

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