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"Reay has written a fascinating, detailed study....Exceptionally well researched, this book is highly recommended..." L.J. Satre, Choice
"Putting these faces on social categories reminds us of life as it was lived." Richard T.Vann, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"...what makes his study so worthwhile if the rich body of broadly cast, macrohistorical literature he eschews, but which nevertheless gives his book focus, context, and value." Richard A. Soloway, American Historical Review
"...Reay's careful and detailed survey provides much valuable evidence concerning nineteenth-century village life and structures. It should encourage others to apply similar techniques to rural communities elsewhere." Pamela Horn, Albion
"This book is an admirable study of the Blean area of Kent, an example of local history at its best, and one that should be a model for similar studies elsewhere. It is deeply researched and addresses many debates. Above all it is holistic approach. In these pages there is considerably more history, and is a very fine successor: vocative, excellently written, resourceful, and original, withmany further developments of research method. ...comprises an important argument for such an historical approach. If historians really wish to understand historical developments they will need to take careful note of this book." K.D.M. Snell, Jrnl of Eco. Hist
This book uses a local study of the Blean area of Kent in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to explore some of the more significant societal changes of the modern western world. Drawing on a wide range of research techniques, including family reconstitution and oral history, Barry Reay examines topics such as marriage and fertility, health and mortality, the work of women and children, and illegitimacy and sexuality. This book is an exciting example of the 'new rural history', and will be of interest to rural and family historians, as well as demographers and sociologists.