Under the Skin: A Neighbourhood Ethnography of Leather and Early Modern Drama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focusses on the world of makers and making in early modern London, through the particular lens of the leather industry. The chapter takes as its premise geocriticism’s central tenet that in order to really understand place the ethnographer works from the specific neighbourhood outwards. Using Southwark and the surrounding area of the first open air commercial playhouses, this chapter examines the relevance of one particular craft neighbourhood and its community of workers. Exploring the cultural commodity of leather as it was produced by the Bankside tanneries and which provided the everyday sensory landscape of Southwark, the argument traces the presence and practice of leather as a knowledge- and place-making object in plays by Thomas Dekker and Thomas Heywood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStaged Normality in Shakespeare's England
EditorsRory Loughnane, Edel Semple
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-00892-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-00891-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Shakespeare Studies
ISSN (Print)2731-3204
ISSN (Electronic)2731-3212

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