This is an innovative study of middle-class behaviour and property relations in English towns in Georgian and Victorian Britain. Through the lens of wills, family papers, property deeds, account books and letters, the author offers a reading of the ways in which middle-class families survived and surmounted the economic difficulties of early industrial society. He argues that these were essentially 'networked' families created and affirmed by a 'gift' network of material goods, finance, services and support, with property very much at the centre of middle-class survival strategies. His approach combines microhistorical studies of individual families with a broader analysis of the national and even international networks within which these families operated. The result is a significant contribution to the history, and to debates about the place of structural and cultural analysis in historical understanding.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 460
Weight: 840 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm
"...an important contribution to our understanding of the interplay of social, economic, and cultural factors in the life cycle of the English middle-class family."
- American Historical Review, John Broad, London Metropolitan University
"...a revealing and accomplished piece of scrupulously researched scholarship..."
- H-Albion, Brian Lewis, Department of History, McGill University
"Men. Women and Property is written with the verve of one both comfortable in the methodology of his disciple and knowledgeable about his subject, the middle class of Victorian Leeds. It is indeed a work of magisterial achievement."
Albert J. Schmidt, Journal of Social History
"...an impressive and important book." -Bettina Bradbury, Histoire sociale