The Calendar Criticism: Calendars And Culture - Essay

François Laroque (essay date 1975)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “A Comparative Calendar of Folk Customs and Festivities in Elizabethan England,” in Cahiers Elisabéthains, No. 8, October, 1975, pp. 5-13.

[In the following essay, Laroque investigates the origins and representation of folk festivals in the Elizabethan calendar.]

As E. K. Chambers says in The Medieval Stage,1 the student of English popular ludi and fêtes cannot but be put off by the complexity and confusion of the recorded material. We are very much in need of a clear and systematic calendar establishing the precise place and function of all these traditional ceremonies, in order to complete the study of their local and...

(The entire section is 2357 words.)

David Cressy (essay date 1989)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “The English Calendar in Colonial America,” in Bonfires and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England, Wiedenfeld and Nicolson, 1989, pp. 190-206.

[In the following essay, Cressy evaluates changes in the Protestant English calendar occasioned by its transfer to the New World.]

The English calendar amalgamated astronomical, classical-pagan, and traditional Christian elements. In addition to marking the seasons and pacing the agricultural year, the calendar fixed and proclaimed the major Christian holy days, and registered such secular events as law terms, court days, times of fairs, and anniversaries. Lady day, May...

(The entire section is 8450 words.)

Bridget Ann Henisch (essay date 1995)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “In Due Season: Farm Work in the Medieval Calendar Tradition,” in Agriculture in the Middle Ages: Technology, Practice, and Representation, edited by Del Sweeney, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995, pp. 309-36.

[In the following essay, Henisch studies the visual depiction of agricultural labor in the calendars of the Middle Ages.]

When a medieval artist was told to illustrate a calendar, he knew exactly what he was expected to provide. It made no difference whether he was working in wood or in stone, tracing the design for a stained-glass window, or brushing gold onto a sheet of vellum. He reached into his store of patterns and pulled out, not twelve...

(The entire section is 6623 words.)

Francois B. Brévart (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: “Chronology and Cosmology: A German Volkskalendar of the Fifteenth Century,” in Princeton University Library Chronicle, Vol. LVII, No. 2, Winter, 1996, pp. 224-65.

[In the following excerpt, Brévart analyzes fifteenth century manuscripts of a Volkskalendar—a collection of astronomical, seasonal, and biographical data.]

In 1946, the Princeton University Library acquired a group of fifty-eight Western European medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from the Grenville Kane Collection.1 Among them was a bound manuscript written in German and consisting of twenty-one parchment leaves measuring 19 x 14 centimeters, with approximately...

(The entire section is 10869 words.)