Previous textbooks on 18th and 19th century Britain have tended to be written either from a social and political standpoint, or about economics in the abstract, as if the history could be reduced to statistical analysis. The aim of this book is to incorporate the revisionist work on British economic growth, which deals impersonally in broad national aggregates, with the work of social and political historians. It stresses the connections between the economy and debates over public policy, and examines the regional variations in agriculture and industry, with particular attention to the differences between England and Scotland. Much revisionist work concerns the operation of assumed national markets; the aim of the book is to show how these markets were formed, and how a national economy was created. The British economy underwent major strucrual change over the period from 1700 to 1850, as population moved from agriculture and rural life to industry and towns.
Martin Danton gives a clear and balanced picture of the continuity and change in the early development of the world's first industrial nation. His book will become prescribed reading for all students of 18th and 19th century British history, and for economists studying the industrial revolution.
Superb and wide-ranging survey of a fast changing field. Dr C. J. Schmitz, Lecturer in Modern History, University of St. Andrew's
`a timely and largely successful attempt to rehumanize modern British economic history by reintegrating it with its social and political cousins...Daunton's integrative approach is most valuable...style is lucid and lively, and his explanations of even the most arcane institutions and concepts are models of clarity...Postgraduates and specialists should relish both its ambitious scope and its fine tuning.'
Economic History Review
`This is a lot of book for the money. Well over 600 pages for less than £15 is good value. It is not only volume that one is purchasing but also a quality product. It combines an excellent synthesis of the most recent work on the classic industrial revolution period with the author's own perceptive insights and interconnections...Each chapter is simply and clearly written, making it very accessible to students as well as more widely read scholars,
and yet each contains a sophisticated analysis drawing on economic concepts and terms and spelling out mechanisms by which economic relationships occured. Daunton is excellent at explaining complicated
issues...the book is greatly to be welcomed. It will be a great boon to students and a good read for scholars. I look forward to volume II'
`Daunton has written a work of grand synthesis and sustained argument, which will be read and reread by professionals and students alike. The book is well produced, with convenient notes and excellent bibliographies, and is a signal achievement not least because its author has rescued so many important findings from highly technical studies and made them part of a story told in lucid, attractive prose. Both admirers and critics will want a sequel.'
G.F. Steckley, Knox College, Choice, March 1996 Vol.33 No.7