About Markham

Gervase Markham (1568?-1637) was a prolific writer who came from a nobel family which had begun to decline in status (and funds). He wrote dozens of books, both fiction and nonfiction, which include plays, poetry, and books like The English Housewife that instruct middling men and women in running a household. Evidence suggests that Markham and his wife lived in the same conditions as his readers: Markham was an avid horseman (and wrote several books on the subject), and likely earned his living as a husbandman (a small landowner whose livelihood depended upon that land).

As was typical at the time, Markham would have received a payment for his manuscript when it was accepted by a publisher for printing. However, unlike today, authors did not receive payments after that, no matter how many new editions the book appeared in. In part because of this, it seems that Markham became increasingly poor as time went on.

(Source: Michael Best, The English Housewife, pgs xi-xiv).

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2 responses to “About Markham

  1. Pingback: How to cook perfect pancakes | Hackney Citizen

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