Bodies Complexioned

Bodies Complexioned Human Variation and Racism in Early Modern English Culture, C.1600-1750

Paperback (12 Jul 2022)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Bodily contrasts - from the colour of hair, eyes and skin to the shape of faces and skeletons - allowed the English of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries to discriminate systematically among themselves and against non-Anglophone groups. Making use of an array of sources, this book examines how early modern English people understood bodily difference. It demonstrates that individuals' distinctive features were considered innate, even as discrete populations were believed to have characteristics in common, and challenges the idea that the humoral theory of bodily composition was incompatible with visceral inequality or racism. While 'race' had not assumed its modern valence, and 'racial' ideologies were still to come, such typecasting nonetheless had mundane, lasting consequences. Grounded in humoral physiology, and Christian universalism notwithstanding, bodily prejudices inflected social stratification, domestic politics, sectarian division and international relations.

Book information

ISBN: 9781526163905
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Imprint: Manchester University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 305.80094209032
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 440g
Height: 155mm
Width: 235mm
Spine width: 20mm