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Why Mr Fax got it wrong

Roy Porter: Population history

5 March 1998
English Population History from Family Reconstitution 1580-1837 
by E.A. Wrigley and R.S. Davies.
Cambridge, 657 pp., £60, July 1997, 0 521 59015 9
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The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Blackwell, 427 pp., £45, May 1997, 0 631 18117 2
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... by French scholars, Peter Laslett’s The World we Have Lost (1965) was a penetrating attempt to revise the English picture. Authoritative documentation of this new way of thinking came with Tony Wrigley and Roger Schofield’s The Population History of England (1981), a product of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. Grounding their national projections on a ...
15 May 1980
Health, Medicine and Mortality in the 16th Century 
edited by Charles Webster.
Cambridge, 417 pp., £18.50, December 1979, 0 521 22643 0
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... paper indicative of the new approach to medical history is an investigation of ‘Infant and Child Mortality in England in the late Tudor and Early Stuart Period’, by Roger Schofield and E.A.Wrigley. This work is also based on parish registers, which begin before 1600 for about four thousand out of the total of 10,000 ancient parishes of England. After exclusion of many which, for one reason or ...

Democracy and Modernity

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie

17 February 1983
The Republic in the Village 
by Maurice Agulhon, translated by Janet Lloyd.
Cambridge, 412 pp., £27.50, September 1982, 0 521 23693 2
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... to introduce disciples of the sansculottes to Provence. Thus Agulhon’s meridional compound changes: white becomes red in his Southern spectrum, with no great change in its social components. E.A.Wrigley distinguished between modernisation (literacy and the new culture) and industrialisation (cotton mills and the pollution from factory chimneys). Agulhon goes further in the same direction: he ...

Man and Wife

Rosalind Mitchison

22 May 1986
Marriage and Love in England: Modes of Reproduction 1300-1840 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Blackwell, 380 pp., £19.50, January 1986, 0 631 13992 3
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For Better, For Worse: British Marriages 1600 to the Present 
by John Gillis.
Oxford, 417 pp., £19.50, February 1986, 9780195036145
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Labour and Love: Women’s Experience of Home and Family 1850-1940 
edited by Jane Lewis.
Blackwell, 274 pp., £25, February 1986, 0 631 13957 5
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... a deliberate choice by two people. Recent work has brought marriage to the fore for historians, since it has been shown to have been the main instrument of demographic change for England. When E.A.Wrigley and R.S. Schofield produced their big book in 1981, The Population History of England 1541-1871, summing up ten years of research by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social ...
15 April 1982
The Economic History of Britain since 1700. Vol. 1: 1700-1860 
edited by Roderick Floud and Donald McCloskey.
Cambridge, 323 pp., £25, October 1981, 0 521 23166 3
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The Economic History of Britain since 1700. Vol. II: 1860 to the 1970s 
edited by Roderick Floud and Donald McCloskey.
Cambridge, 485 pp., £30, October 1981, 0 521 23167 1
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The Population History of England 1541-1871: A Reconstruction 
by E.A. Wrigley.
Edward Arnold, 779 pp., £45, October 1982, 0 7131 6264 3
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The Decline of British Economic Power since 1870 
by M.W. Kirby.
Allen and Unwin, 211 pp., £15, June 1981, 0 04 942169 7
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The Coming of the Mass Market 1850-1914 
by Hamish Fraser.
Macmillan, 268 pp., £16, February 1982, 0 333 31034 9
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... of the Industrial Revolution as being something of a non-event, to be appropriately commemorated in non-writing, is all the more ironic because the other book which sports a Mancunian dust-jacket, Wrigley and Schofield’s Population History of England, is partly concerned to argue the opposite case: that the economic and demographic changes in England at the end of the 18th century constituted ‘a ...

Light on a rich country

Rosalind Mitchison

17 June 1982
The Population History of England 1541-1871: A Reconstruction 
by E.A. Wrigley and R.S. Schofield.
Edward Arnold, 779 pp., £45, October 1981, 0 7131 6264 3
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... economic development, it has seemed reasonable to look to some exogenous factor, such as infectious disease, rather than to changes in social organisation or social intent to explain the main change. Wrigley and Schofield attribute only a quarter of the 18th-century expansion to mortality change, and argue that there is no logical connection between the flexibility of mortality levels over short periods ...

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