Making a Living in the Middle Ages

Making a Living in the Middle Ages : The People of Britain 850-1520

3.66 (60 ratings by Goodreads)
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Dramatic social and economic change during the middle ages altered the lives of the people of Britain in far-reaching ways, from the structure of their families to the ways they made their livings. In this masterly book, preeminent medieval historian Christopher Dyer presents a fresh view of the British economy from the ninth to the sixteenth century and a vivid new account of medieval life. He begins his volume with the formation of towns and villages in the ninth and tenth centuries and ends with the inflation, population rise, and colonial expansion of the sixteenth century.

This is a book about ideas and attitudes as well as the material world, and Dyer shows how people regarded the economy and responded to economic change. He examines the growth of towns, the clearing of lands, the Great Famine, the Black Death, and the upheavals of the fifteenth century through the eyes of those who experienced them. He also explores the dilemmas and decisions of those who were making a living in a changing world-from peasants, artisans, and wage earners to barons and monks. Drawing on archaeological and landscape evidence along with more conventional archives and records, the author offers here an engaging survey of British medieval economic history unrivaled in breadth and clarity.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 424 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 23.11mm | 680g
  • New Haven, CT, United States
  • English
  • 16 maps
  • 0300101910
  • 9780300101911
  • 411,756

Review quote

"'A work of immense ambition and erudition.' Daniel Snowman 'An exceptionally wide-ranging book... Dyer's mastery of his material is indeed enviable. The book abounds with a wealth of illustrative examples, which bring the discussion to life. Yet the author's learning is always worn lightly.' Nigel Saul, History Today 'This elegant account of the economic history of Britain over seven centuries is an exhilarating book - this is serious history that can be read for pleasure.' Danny Danzinger, The Sunday Times 'He has an open style, an encyclopedic knowledge of a vast sweep of over half a millennium of history, and he offers accessible and cogent introductions to an infinite range of potentially complex and obscure topics... With commendable assurance, Dyer guides his readers through all corners of the economy.' John Hatcher, Times Literary Supplement"
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About Christopher Dyer

Christopher Dyer, formerly professor of medieval social history at the University of Birmingham, is now professor of regional and local history at the University of Leicester.
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Rating details

60 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 15% (9)
4 47% (28)
3 30% (18)
2 7% (4)
1 2% (1)
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