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Microhistories: Demography, Society and Culture in Rural England, 1800-1930 (Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time) Paperback – November 7, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

Book Description

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time (Book 30)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (November 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521892228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521892223
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,834,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The announced purpose of Microhistories: Demography, Society and Culture in Rural England, 1800-1930 is that of using a local study to explore some of the more significant societal changes in a wider world. Barry Reay chooses the Blean area of Kent in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as his tool of choice to this end. Drawing on a self-admitted, non-exhaustive list of research techniques, including family reconstitution and oral history, Reay demonstrates the utility of such an integrated micro-study by carrying the reader beyond its modest geographical and historical boundaries for reflection in a wider world. Integrating cultural, demographic, economic, and social history, Professor Reay examines a range of topics including marriage and fertility, health and mortality, the work of women and children, and illegitimacy and sexuality. This book demonstrates the potential of the microhistory model for making significant contributions to broader based, mainstream historical questions. However, this is not a book for those new to family and local history; a better resource is ‘English Local History: An introduction’ by Kate Tiller. If this text is an introduction, then Microhistories is an advanced application of the guidance offered by Tiller.
The Microhistories model as presented by Reay is part of a renewed effort during the 1990s to leverage local history into the ‘mainstream’ historiography. Local history sorely needed to lose the antiquarian cloak bequeathed it by more ‘conventional’ historians causing work during the period to often carry faint apologetic undertones. However, Barry Reay makes no apologies, not even faint ones. The creation of a school for local history within the newly founded Kellogg College, Oxford was a major achievement in this process.
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Microhistories: Demography, Society and Culture in Rural England, 1800-1930 (Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time)
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