Explore LJMU’s Special Collections: Peacham’s The Compleat Gentleman (1634)

Explore LJMU’s Special Collections: Peacham’s The Compleat Gentleman (1634)

This post, on one of the oldest books in LJMU's Special Collections, was researched and written by Jamie-Lee Purnell, a second year History and English student currently undertaking a work placement with the Library team.  Henry Peacham (1576-1644) studied at Cambridge University as a Master of Arts. Graphice, the first essay he published, was a practical treatise on art. Its full title was‘Graphice, or the most auncient and excellent Art of Drawing with the Pen and Limning in Water Colours'. His interest in the links between art, mind, body and soul endured into future works such as The Compleat Gentleman, the handbook he intended as a guide for young men of good birth - a kind of complete, gentlemanly ideology - which he produced in 1634. In it, Peacham illustrates the importance of traditions in courtesy books that dealt with ideals, education and conduct befitting a gentleman or lady of the court. Studies of the concepts and practices of nobility were common during the period. However, most of Peacham’s...
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