Social Theories of Fertility and the Malthusian Debate

Social Theories of Fertility and the Malthusian Debate

Social Theories of Fertility and the Malthusian Debate

Social Theories of Fertility and the Malthusian Debate

Excerpt

The study presented here arose out of an attempt to give a systematic account of recent trends in population movements, and theories associated with these, in lectures given to students in the University of Birmingham. Faced with an apparently chaotic mass of Malthusian and anti-Malthusian literature, I began to see something of a connecting thread only when H. L. Beales, to whom I had turned for advice, suggested that the key was to be found in the work of Richard Jones, Malthus's successor at Haileybury. In this way, another volume came to be added to the long list of those which might have been written by one who knows more about English social history than almost anyone else, but chooses to leave the credit for his ideas to accrue to his grateful pupils.

Professor D. V. Glass read and criticized the manuscript in its early stages and towards the end, and made many valuable suggestions in a field where he has unique knowledge. Dr. K. H. Connell contributed some Irish references. Mr. R. F. Willetts of this University, and my uncle, Dr. W. A. Morel, helped with classical sources, and Mrs. Margaret Hilton with French authors. Many other friends and colleagues placed their specialized knowledge and critical powers at my disposal. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Josephine Klein and Mr. Esra Bennathan for the detailed suggestions and help in systematization. My father, Dr. O. R. Eberstadt, read the proofs and saved me from a good many mistakes.

The subject of this book ranges over a number of fields outside my own, and the investigation did not follow the methods of any particular school of historical or sociological writing. These factors have inevitably led to defects in structure and in arbitrary judgements. I should like to make it clear that those who helped by discussion and criticism are not to be blamed for these faults.

The compilation of the manuscript would not have been possible without the help of a succession of skilful assistants. The excerpts from authors (and there were many more of these than found their way into text or footnotes) were transcribed by Miss Edna Davies and Mrs. Corinne Lovatt. The latter did most of the work on foreign and classical sources, and also typed a great part of the draft manuscript. Most of the final version was typed by Mlle Françoise Larregain. Mrs. Virginia McDonald and Miss Janet Blackman performed the laborious task of . . .

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