The Poor in England, 1700-1850: An Economy of Makeshifts

The Poor in England, 1700-1850: An Economy of Makeshifts

The Poor in England, 1700-1850: An Economy of Makeshifts

The Poor in England, 1700-1850: An Economy of Makeshifts

Synopsis

This fascinating study investigates the experience of English poverty between 1700 and 1900 and in the ways in which the poor made ends meet. The phrase "economy of makeshifts" has often been used to summarize the patchy, desperate and sometimes failing strategies of the poor for material survival. Incomes or benefits derived from such strategies allegedly ranged from wages supported by under-employment via petty crime through to charity, but allusions to this array of makeshifts usually fall short of answering vital questions about how and when the poor secured access to them. This book represents a significant attempt to supply the English "economy of makeshifts" with a solid, empirical basis and to advance the concept of makeshifts from a vague but convenient label to a more precise yet inclusive definition.
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