The Eighteenth-Century Town: A Reader in English Urban History, 1688-1820

The Eighteenth-Century Town: A Reader in English Urban History, 1688-1820

The Eighteenth-Century Town: A Reader in English Urban History, 1688-1820

The Eighteenth-Century Town: A Reader in English Urban History, 1688-1820

Synopsis

The eighteenth century represents a critical period in the transition of the English urban history, as the town of the early modern era involved into that of the industrial revolution; and since Britain was the 'first industrial nation', this transformation is of more-than-national significance for all those interested in the histroy of towns. This book gathers together in one volume some of the most interesting and important articles that have appeared in research journals to provide a rich variety of perspectives on urban evelopment in the period.

Excerpt

The aim of this reader -- one of a series of four volumes on urban history covering the late twelfth to early twentieth centuries -- is to gather together in an easily accessible form, and place in a clear and comprehensible context, a number of key contributions to the study of the eighteenth-century town. in choosing the items for inclusion I have avoided the contents of readily available urban history collections. in general, weight has been given to more recent publications and an attempt has been made to provide a reasonably broad coverage of the various aspects of town life. Though I am conscious that in practice the pieces selected are concentrated in certain fields, this reflects the way the subject has developed and the need in a collection like this to allow for some common ground between the contributions. the reader opens with a specially written Introduction (Chapter 1), surveying the results of recent research on the history of the English town between 1688 and 1820, and locating the later essays in a broad contextual framework. Each piece (chapter) itself is prefaced by a brief editorial introduction, highlighting its central features, indicating other published work (occasionally of a critical nature) relevant to it, and sometimes raising questions about its methodology or conclusions. a select list of further reading is provided, which is supported by more detailed bibliographical references in the footnotes to the Introduction. in editing this volume I am grateful to the authors and publishers who have permitted me to reproduce their work, to Peter Clark and Anne Borsay for their valuable comments on my text, and to the trustees of the Pantyfedwen Fund at Saint David's University College, Lampeter, for their financial assistance in preparing the book.

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