A Social History of the English Countryside

A Social History of the English Countryside

A Social History of the English Countryside

A Social History of the English Countryside

Excerpt

The emphasis of the volume is on the changes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with which the author is most familiar, but which also are the more relevant for understanding the transformation to the industrial and commercial urbanized society of our own times. It was in these centuries that agriculture began its long decline from being the predominant occupation of the people to becoming only one of a number of equally important sources of employment; it was consequently the period in which typical English people ceased to get their income directly or indirectly from the soil and became town-dwellers.

We begin, however, back in early times with the formation of village communities. Immediately we run up against one of the great problems of trying to create a broad picture of the past: that of regional and local variations. England is a small country, but it is rich in the variety of its topography, its natural conditions, and its ethnic and cultural origins . . .

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