250 pp. Contents crisp, clean and tightly bound. Black cloth cover has some small marks. Minor creasing to edges of dust jacket.
This collection of essays is concerned with the lives of working people in both rural and urban environments in southern England from medieval times to the end of the nineteenth century. In communities across the south from at least the thirteenth century, conflict occurred between those in authority and their less well-off neighbours, either peasants or proletarians. The causes of discord and disaffection varied over time and from place to place.In late medieval times the declining feudal system caused tension, as lords sought to keep control of serfs. In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries causing inflation, leading to increased poverty and rioting, especially in urban centres, replaced feudalism as a cause of discontent. this, in turn was followed by the growth of a rural proletariat as the peasantry of southern England were converted into a rural wage-dependant labour force earlier than northern industrial towns. Associated with this change, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, came the problems of hunger, poverty, migration and crime. Attempts by both urban and rural authorities to impose social control on all those they regarded as inferiors only served to aggravate further the already volatile situation. All these aspects are dealt with in this volume, helping widen our understanding of the process and costs of social and economic changes in southern England. This important new book will be of major interest to the social, economic and labour historian, as well as those concerned with local and regional history.