Themes prominent among the manuscript contents are identified, using a standardized list

Displaying 1–25 themes out of 38 total


Search for keywords within theme name or description

Theme Description Major Theme Minor Theme
Alcohol, other beverages, tobacco

Discussion of drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee, or inhaling tobacco; drinking songs.

2 32
Animals, pets

Pets; deaths of pets; animal fables; animal speakers.

7 70
Bodily functions

Generally impolite subjects related to the physical body, such as elimination and sexual acts. 

3 10

Includes aristocrats, politicians, theatre figures, various artists and authors when the focus is on their personalities, behaviour, or reputations, rather than their political or artistic contributions.

40 22
Classical themes

English-language rewritings, or discussions of, stories or passages or characters from the Greek and Roman classical tradition. 

16 27
Conduct, morality

Includes behavioural advice to women, young male travellers, and other groups; also discussion of modes of life such as retirement; contemporary trends (see also Satire - social). 

74 31
Courtship, marriage

Social practices and dynamics of courtship and marriage (see also Family; Love; Satire-social).

57 36
Death, afterlife

Expressions of mourning; grief; hope or fear regarding life after death; discussions of heaven, Last Judgement.

109 36
Devotional writing, religious belief

Expressions of Christian devotion; prayers and meditations; creeds; theological arguments (see also Satire-religious).

62 27
Domestic life

Discussion of domestic activities such as cooking, dressing, washing; portraits of domestic life (see also Courtship, marriage; Family; Solitude, loneliness, retirement). 

10 12

Related to educational institutions or educational experiences; schoolmasters; events at university colleges; school exercises.

17 21

Includes parent-child relations and sibling relations; spousal relationships are generally included in Courtship, marriage. 

28 28
French poetry

Items in French, which may or may not be presented in translation also.

0 18

Discussions of same-sex friendship or of friendship between members of a club or social group; generally celebratory or commemorative. 

40 29
German poetry

Items in German, which may or may not be presented in translation also. 

0 1
Greek poetry

Items in Greek, which may or may not be presented in translation also.

0 8
Historical subjects

Imaginative recreations or reponses to past events and characters.

11 19
Humour, wordplay

Jokes; whimsy; wordplay; items with a humourous punchline (see also Satire; Imitation, parody).

49 24

Prayers and reflections on illness; discussions of medical treatments (see also Death, afterlife).

7 44
Imitation, parody

Items identified as imitating the style of well-known poets or poems, often with parodic intent. 

10 46
Italian poetry

Items in Italian, which may or may not be presented in translation also.

0 6
Latin poetry

Items in Latin, which may or may not be presented in translation also.

15 34

Discussions of a particular work, or the works of a particular author or authors; includes discussions of letters, manuscript poetry books (see also Shakespeare).

23 41
Local interest

Related to local events, country houses, gardens, other landmarks.

26 13

Expressions of romantic feeling, love for a partner; wooing poems; love lyrics (see also Courtship, marriage). 

39 30