A Social History of England, 1200-1500

A Social History of England, 1200-1500

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What was life really like in England in the later Middle Ages? This comprehensive introduction explores the full breadth of English life and society in the period 1200-1500. Opening with a survey of historiographical and demographic debates, the book then explores the central themes of later medieval society, including the social hierarchy, life in towns and the countryside, religious belief, and forms of individual and collective identity. Clustered around these themes a series of authoritative essays develop our understanding of other important social and cultural features of the period, including the experience of war, work, law and order, youth and old age, ritual, travel and transport, and the development of writing and reading. Written in an accessible and engaging manner by an international team of leading scholars, this book is indispensable both as an introduction for students and as a resource for specialists.
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Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 b/w illus.
  • 1139167154
  • 9781139167154

Review quote

"Not only historians but also anthropologists and social scientists will find A Social History of England relevant and engaging...a vivid narrative about the subtle and complex ways that medieval people-from the thirteenth century until the eye of the reformation-accommodated change, ordered and re-ordered social relations, clung to old ways of thinking or altered them, created new values, negotiated economic and institutional constraints, and ultimately contributed to broader discussions of religion, nationality, individualism, ritual, civic ceremony, self identity, and community." Elaine Clark, Journal of Interdisciplinary History "This volume accomplishes its goals with great verve, no jargon, and considerable readability. Readers may want to pick and choose from their chapters, but they should be ready for surprises and would benefit from a cover-to-cover approach. It will reveal a social history in which social groups are no longer the main actors or principles of organization. Social relations, cultural structures, and social ideas now play the central role because they are conceived as being crucial to constituting human agents and their choices as well as their problems." David Gary Shaw, Canadian Journal of History "...a splendid volume." -Shannon McSheffrey, Historie sociale
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About Rosemary Horrox

Rosemary Horrox is Fellow in History, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge and lectures and writes extensively on later medieval English History. She is the author of Richard III: A Study of Service (1989) and of The Black Death (1994) and editor of Fifteenth-Century Attitudes (1994) and Beverley Minster: An Illustrated History (2000). W. Mark Ormrod is Professor of Medieval History at the University of York and is a specialist in the history of later medieval England. He is the author of The Reign of Edward III (1990) and Political Life in Medieval England 1300-1450 (1995) and has edited (with Philip Lindley) The Black Death in England (1996) and (with Nicola McDonald) Rites of Passage: Cultures of Transition in Fourteenth-Century England (2004).
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Table of contents

Preface; 1. Introduction: social structure and economic change in late medieval England S. H. Rigby; 2. An age of deference Peter Coss; 3. The enterprise of war Michael Prestwich; 4. Order and law Simon Walker; 5. Social mobility Philippa C. Maddern; 6. Town life Richard Britnell; 7. The land Bruce M. S. Campbell; 8. A consumer economy Maryanne Kowaleski; 9. Moving around Wendy R. Childs; 10. Work and leisure Mavis E. Mate; 11. Religious belief Eamon Duffy; 12. A magic universe Valerie I. J. Flint; 13. Renunciation Janet Burton; 14. Ritual constructions of society Charles Phythian-Adams; 15. Identities Miri Rubin; 16. Life and death: the ages of man P. J. P. Goldberg; 17. The wider world Robin Frame; 18. Writing and reading Paul Strohm; 19. Conclusion Rosemary Horrox; Further reading; Index.
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