South Britain

Rosalind Mitchison

  • The Economic History of Britain since 1700. Vol. 1: 1700-1860 edited by Roderick Floud and Donald McCloskey
    Cambridge, 323 pp, £25.00, October 1981, ISBN 0 521 23166 3
  • The Economic History of Britain since 1700. Vol. II: 1860 to the 1970s edited by Roderick Floud and Donald McCloskey
    Cambridge, 485 pp, £30.00, October 1981, ISBN 0 521 23167 1

The introduction to these volumes states that the chapters ‘make up an economic history of England and Wales since 1700’, thereby displaying a curtailed concept of Britain. Most of the chapters concentrate on England, though almost all of the tables, of which there are many, are based on figures for Great Britain as a whole or, in Volume II, for the United Kingdom. Occasionally one of the distinguished team of authors recognises explicitly that he or she is writing only about England. R. D. Lee and R. S. Schofield, giving an early edition of the Cambridge Group’s population discoveries, gracefully slide out from any concern with Scotland. At the other end of the range of skill, Pat Thane commits herself unwisely to remarks about Highland clearances in the 18th century. The book is concerned almost entirely with English history: but it is offered as a textbook for students of British Economic History, and gives an interesting light on what courses on British Economic History cover in most English universities.

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