"Paul Slack's The English Poor Law, 1531-1782 is a well-informed and concise survey of recent scholarly research about social welfare legislation in early modern England." Elisabeth Cawthon, H-Net Reviews
"...this is an excellent book, especially for young scholars wishing to research the Old Poor Law. It provides a brief, yet thorough historical account, helpful bibliographic tools, and even a checklist of relevant statutes." David McCarter, Sixteenth Century Journal
This text provides a concise synthesis of recent scholarly work on the Poor Law, which was designed to reform the poor as much as to relieve poverty. It explains the origins of the unique system of welfare, and shows how it played a central role in English social and political development.