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A Social History of England, 1200–1500
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Book description

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.


"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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