Internet Shakespeare Editions


To market, to market. . .

A woman on her way to market.
From Shakespeare's England (1917)

Two or three times a week the housewife took produce to market to sell it. Whether the family was wealthy or poor, John Fitzherbert reminds us of the economic importance of the housewife. She is "to go or ride to the market to sell butter, cheese, milk, eggs, capons, hens, pigs, geese, and all manner of corn. And also to buy all manner of necessary things belonging to a household."

Fitzherbert also remarks that the housewife, after her day at the market, ought:

. . .to make a true reckoning and account to her husband what she hath received and what she hath paid. And if the husband go to the market to buy or sell as they oft do, he then to show his wife in like manner; for if one of them should use to deceive the other, he deceiveth himself, and he is not likely to thrive, and therefore they must be true either to other.
(Boke of Husbandry, 1525)

More on markets. . .