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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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... 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 comprehensive scrutiny of the registers of over four hundred ...

The Patient’s Story

Thomas McKeown, 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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... 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 another, were unsuitable, several hundred registers were ...

Cities of Fire and Smoke

Oliver Cussen: Enlightenment Environmentalism, 2 March 2023

Affluence and Freedom: An Environmental History of Political Ideas 
by Pierre Charbonnier, translated by Andrew Brown.
Polity, 327 pp., £19.99, July 2021, 978 1 5095 4372 4
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... By cutting trees, draining marshes and tilling the soil, European colonists had inaugurated an era of global warming that would save the planet. Buffon was probably alone among his contemporaries in anticipating the Anthropocene. But theories of man-made climate change were widespread in the 18th century. Like their French counterparts to the north, the ...

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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... 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 considers that Provence tasted the forbidden fruit of Democracy ...

Thoughts on the New Economic History

David Cannadine, 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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... 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 radical break with the past’ of a ‘decisive ...

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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... 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 Structure, they reversed the existing emphasis on reduction ...

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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... 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 and the likelihood that mortality over a long time-scale ...

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