An enormous amount of research into British field systems has been undertaken by historical geographers, economic historians and others since H. L. Gray's classic work on English Field Systems was published. Detailed local studies have been legion, generalized explanations of the origins and functioning of field systems few but influential in promoting further studies. This book both synthesises and advances our knowledge of field systems in the British Isles. An introduction by the editors outlines the sources and methods of studies of field systems. There then follow twelve chapters concerned with specific areas within the British Isles. In their own conclusion, the editors consider the problems and perspectives of field system studies in the context of the British Isles as a whole. This chapter is an attempt at generalisation in historical geography, generalization in relation to both existing models of British field systems and putative problems which only further research can resolve.
Taken from the hardback review: ' ... this is an important book, indeed an essential one, for the understanding of a major aspect of Britain's past economy and rural society.' The Times Literary Supplement