Book Series Rural History in Europe, vol. 10

Wealth and Poverty in European Rural Societies from the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Century

John Broad, Anton Schuurman (eds)

  • Pages: 253 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:30 b/w, 29 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2014

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54516-5
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55929-2
  • E-book
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"Insgesamt verdeutlicht der Band mit seinen Studien aus verschiedenen Teilen Europas die Diversität nicht nur innerhalb einzelner Regionen oder Länder und im zeitlichen Verlauf, sondern auch die Vielfalt an Möglichkeiten der Ressourcenverteilung in Europa. Diese Vielfalt ergänzt bisherige Bilder und Narrationen auf breiter empirischer Basis und hinterfragt in vieler Hinsicht gängige Vorstellungen." (Michaela Fenske, in: Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 1/2017, p. 117-118)


This book sheds new light on old problems of wealth, poverty and material culture in rural societies.  Much of the debate has concentrated on north-west Europe and the Atlantic world.  This volume widens the geographic range to compare less well known areas, with case studies on the Mediterranean world (Catalonia and Greece), from central Europe (Bohemia and Hungary), and from the Nordic countries (Denmark).  Methodologically, several papers link the possession of goods to the use of room space, while others highlight the importance of the channels for the circulation of goods, problems of stocks and flows of goods, and the complexities of urban/rural difference.  Finally, this book seeks to stimulate new comparative studies in living standards and lifestyles by providing an overview of achievements up till now.

John Broad is visiting academic at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge.  He has published on rural society and poverty in England, and his current research interests include a book on English rural housing, and large-scale surveys of population, religion, and landholding in England in the eighteenth century.

Anton Schuurman is associate professor of Rural History at Wageningen University. He has published on the history of material culture and rural transformations in the Netherlands. Currently he is writing a book on the processes of modernisation and democratisation in the Dutch countryside from 1840 till 1920.