The Industrial Revolution produced the modern world, a world of increased affluence, longevity, urbanization, and travel. This book illuminates how the great surge of economic growth that determined these changes was not expected, and often went unnoticed. The author begins by discussing the kind of substantial economic growth that was predicted at the time, and goes on to cover the growth that was unexpected. The link between these two types of growth is presented in the context of English economic growth between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries and leads the author to challenge convincingly the conventional view that the Industrial Revolution was a simple, unitary, and consciously progressive phenomenon. .E.A. Wrigley is Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford University. He is the author of several books, among them, Population and History (McGraw-Hill) The Population History of England (CUP) and Continuity, Chance and Change (CUP).
' ... an intellectual breakthrough which, like it or not, will influence all our thinking in the future ... Brief though it is, the book makes a profound impression. Much research will be necessary to extend and modify it, but here undoubtedly is a major contribution of our time.' Sidney Pollard, Economic History Review 'General history is often interesting, but rarely important and searching. Continuity, Chance and Change succeeds on all three counts.' Julian Hoppit, Times Higher Education Supplement