British Medieval Population

British Medieval Population

British Medieval Population

British Medieval Population

Excerpt

This book is the culmination of a series of developments which began in 1929 in a sociology class in Las Vegas, New Mexico. While teaching this course in sociology I came to appreciate and to understand the sociological approach to society. I also learned that more coördination of information between sociologists and historians would be helpful to both: to social history it would give the terminology and precision of sociological study and to social studies a more satisfactory historical background. A second step in the development of this study occurred in the summer of 1936 when I taught a course in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages and tried to include a survey of population changes in the period. The difficulty of securing information led me to a preparation of a survey of the available evidence. The survey unearthed much data which could be used for population study, particularly for England. The first use of the data was a study of length of life before the Black Death in England. The article which gave the results of this investigation was defective in some respects, but it did bring acquaintance with a number of men who were to aid in my further research, notably Frank Lorimer, Frank Notestein, the late Raymond Pearl, L. I. Dublin, A. J. Lotka, and Mortimer Spiegelman. The Social Science Research Council gave me a grant for study in England in the summer of 1938 and in a timely manner the American Philosophical Society out of the Penrose Fund allotted me a grant to continue my investigation during the following year.

In England I had the benefit of the advice of members of the London School of Economics, R. M. Carr Saunders, the late R. R. Kuczynski, and especially David Glass. The Institute of Historical Research gave me access to their valuable bibliographical collection and offered me the opportunity of presenting problems to the seminar conducted by Professor Pollard with the assistance of Guy Parsloe. A few pleasant days were spent at Aberystwyth, Wales, where I had the chance to clarify ideas in Professor . . .

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