The late medieval English milling industry epitomizes one of the most important technical achievements of early societies: the exploitation of wind, water and muscle power for augmenting human endeavours. Through a computerized analysis of the number and variety of mills in England from 1300 to 1540, as well as the technology, practices and personnel sustaining them, Langdon reveals the structural evolution of the milling industry, highlighting both its accomplishments and its limitations. Although it focuses on England during the later middle ages, the book's innovative methodologies and original findings will furnish useful comparative material for all scholars investigating pre-industrial societies. It also offers a challenging new perspective on the later middle ages as a time of change, in addition to providing enthusiasts of old technologies generally with a wealth of detail about one of the most recognizable and enduring features of medieval society.
...an admirable study that provides economic historians with a comprehensive description and thoughtful analysis of the medieval milling industry and of pre-modern entrepreneurship in general. Karine van der Beek, EH.Net This is a book full of new insights and is a major contribution to our knowledge of the later medieval economy Grenville Astill, Landscape History an effective and in-depth study...an admirable study, both in its strong use of evidence and in its examination of late medieval milling to explore the nature of change and stasis within broader historical frameworks. James Davis, English Historical Review ...provide excellent scholarly surveys... John Hare, Southern History Society, Vol. 28
1: The Milling Industry
2: Mill Numbers and Revenues
3: The Technology of the Late Medieval English Milling Industry
4: The Operation of Milling
6: Workers and Customers
Conclusion: The Late Middle Ages as an Era of Change?