From Reformation to Improvement: Public Welfare in Early Modern England (Hardback)
  • From Reformation to Improvement: Public Welfare in Early Modern England (Hardback)
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From Reformation to Improvement: Public Welfare in Early Modern England (Hardback)

(author)
£102.50
Hardback 188 Pages / Published: 24/09/1998
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Between the early sixteenth and the early eighteenth centuries, the character of English social policy and social welfare changed fundamentally. Aspirations for wholesale reformation were replaced by more specific schemes for improvement. Paul Slack's analysis of this decisive shift of focus, derived from his 1995 Ford Lectures, examines its intellectual and political roots. He describes the policies and rhetoric of the commonwealthsmen, godly magistrates, Stuart monarchs, Interregnum projectors, and early Hanoverian philanthropists, and the institutions - notably hospitals and workhouses - which they created or reformed. In a series of thematic chapters, each linked to a chronological period, he brings together what might seem to have been disparate notions and activities, and shows that they expressed a sequence of coherent approaches towards public welfare. The result is a strikingly original study, which throws fresh light on the formation of civic consciousness and the emergence of a civil society in early modern England.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198206613
Number of pages: 188
Weight: 492 g
Dimensions: 243 x 161 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
It is only when the allusive economy of the prose is contrasted with the massive apparatus of footnote references that one appreciates to the full not just the author's formidable learning but also the self-restraint and disciplined care with which he chose his lines of enquiry. * Parliamentary History *
A thoughtful and thought-provoking book ... a consolidated, must-read, research agenda which will keep us going for some time. * Continuity and Change *
Represents a topping-off of one of the most distinguished current careers in the writing of social history ... an overview of social policy as a whole over the same period, at national and local level, weaving his research into that of the whole range of publications made in the field over the past thirty years. The lecture format is well used, each chapter tackling a discrete issue, while the conclusion provides a genuine judgement on the whole, one of conspicuous power and importance. Although he never labours the point himself, the contemporary relevance of Slack's study, representing the previous history of public welfare policy at a time when the present structure is increasingly endangered, is obvious. * Ronald Hutton, Times Literary Supplement *
These three themes add up to a wonderfully rich and convincing body of work ... From Reformation to Improvement hammers another nail into the coffin of economic determinism and argues powerfully for the primacy of ideology in driving human affairs ... a disturbing, as well as an exciting and important, book. * Ronald Hutton, Times Literary Supplement *

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