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Contrasting Communities : English Villages in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries - Margaret Spufford

Contrasting Communities

English Villages in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Paperback Published: 4th February 1980
ISBN: 9780521297486
Number Of Pages: 404

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This book is a detailed history of the economic, educational and religious life of three contrasting communities, Chippenham, Orwell and Willingham in Cambridgeshire from 1525 to 1700. The three villages had very difference economic settings, in which the pattern of landholding changed over this period and the general and particular reasons for the changes that took place. The study also covers the educational opportunities open to the villagers, and examines religious affairs, the effect on peasant communities of the Reformation and the disturbance in the devotional life of the ordinary villager, which often culminated in dissent and disruption under the Commonwealth. Dr Spufford has penetrated into the social life of the English village at all levels, and with fascinating detail has created a whole social universe around her villagers or a 'picture in the round' view. The book will be invaluable to economic, social, and ecclesiastical historians of England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as historians of Britain generally, and those with a special interest in Cambridgeshire.

Industry Reviews

'This is a seminal book.' Christopher Hill, Literature and Society 'A book which often comes close to attaining the ideal of an historical controlled experiment, in which the theories of the textbooks are carefully tested against historical experience. The first section ... should become required reading for all social and economic historians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ... I suspect that everyone who reads this book will learn something valuable from it, whatever his particular interests.' Roger Schofield 'The demographic sections of this book are instructive, the economic and social interesting and informative, and the educational ones revelatory, but most readers will probably be drawn more to the ecclesiastical and religious ones.' Eric Kerridge, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

List of maps and graphs
List of tables
List of abbreviations
People, Families and Land
The peopling of a county
The problem: the disappearance of the small landowner
The reality: the small landholder on the chalk: Chippenham
The reality: the small landholder on the clay: Orwell
The reality: the small landholder in the fens: Willingham
The Schooling of the Peasantry
A general view of schools and schoolmasters
The elementary ability to write: Willingham and Orwell
The impoarance of reading in the village community
Parishioners and their Religion
Dissent before and after the commonwealth
A general view of the laity in the diocese of Ely
Fragmentation and the growth of sects
The possible determinants of dissent
The reality of religion for the villager
Index to contemporary names
General index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521297486
ISBN-10: 0521297486
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 404
Published: 4th February 1980
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.59

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