Losing Face: Shame, Society and the Self in Early Modern England

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book is a study of shame in English society in the two centuries between c.1550 and c.1750, demonstrating the ubiquity and powerful hold it had on contemporaries over the entire era. Using insights drawn from the social sciences, the book investigates multiple meanings and manifestations of shame in everyday lives and across private and public domains, exploring the practice and experience of shame in devotional life and family relations, amid social networks, and in communities or the public at large. The book pays close attention to variations and distinctive forms of shame, while also uncovering recurring patterns, a spectrum ranging from punitive, exclusionary and coercive shame through more conciliatory, lenient and inclusive forms. Placing these divergent forms in the context of the momentous social and cultural shifts that unfolded over the course of the era, the book challenges perceptions of the waning of shame in the transition from early modern to modern times, arguing instead that whereas some modes of shame diminished or disappeared, others remained vital, were reformulated and vastly enhanced.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages262
ISBN (Electronic)9781003226871
ISBN (Print)9781032129259, 9781032129273
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Early Modern History


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