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The Making Of The English Middle Class: Business, Society And Family Life In London, 1660-1730

by Peter Earle

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Book Description
This is the first major study of a neglected yet extremely significant subject: the London middle classes in the period between 1660 and 1730, a period in which they created a society and economy that can be seen with hindsight to have ushered in the modern world. Using a wealth of material from contemporary sources--including wills, business papers, inventories, marriage contracts, divorce hearings, and the writings of Daniel Defoe and Samuel Pepys--Peter Earle presents a fully rounded picture of the "middling sort of people," getting to the hearts of their lives as men and women struggling for success in the biggest, richest, and most middle-class city in contemporary Europe.
He examines in fascinating and convincing detail the business life of Londoners, from apprenticeship through the problems and potential rewards of different occupational groups, going on to look at middle-class family, social, political and material life--from relationships with spouses, children, servants, and neighbors, to food and clothes and furniture, to sickness, death, and burial.
Stimulating, scholarly, and constantly illuminating, this book is an important and impressive contribution to English social history.

About the Author
Peter Earle is Reader in Economic History at the University of London and teaches at the London School of Economics. He is the author of several books on maritime history and English social history, the latter including The World of Defoe and Monmouth's Rebels.



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