Urbane and Rustic England: Cultural Ties and Social Spheres in the Provinces, 1660-1780

ISBN 10: 0804736162 / ISBN 13: 9780804736169
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Synopsis: It is a commonplace of early modern English history to note the vast gulf that separated the city from the countryside. Rural visitors to cities felt distinctly out of place, often suffered unpleasant experiences, and were the subject of much urban comedy. Drawn by the reputed beauty and salubrity of rural settings, affluent city dwellers sometimes purchased country estates or retreats, but these people energetically maintained their principal social and cultural ties within urban networks.

The persistence of such a gulf, however, is surprising in a period (after the Restoration of 1660) often described in terms of an “English urban renaissance”—an economically oriented depiction that has assumed that revived cities and towns became expanding spheres of influence, diffusing urban values in the countryside, and promoting widespread interaction between urban dwellers and villagers and rustics.

This study systematically reexamines urban-rural interaction in this period within the Bristol area, to see whether rural life was indeed rapidly transformed in some imitative fashion by urban economic, social, and cultural influences. The author’s conclusion, to the contrary, is that the urban-rural gulf persisted quite strongly for nearly a century following the Restoration. He argues that despite growing economic ties and demographic forces that linked town and countryside, cultural factors remained highly salient, keeping the urban-rural divide a crucial one in everyday lives and self-perception.

Villagers near the revived and growing cities actively and consciously resisted the encroachment of urban society and culture in ways that shaped family formation, apprenticeship migration, the consumption of goods, the regulation of community boundaries, the development of printing and the spread of information in the provinces, acts of collective protest, and the influence of religious groups. The author shows that the defense of privilege by local civic authorities and the persistence of the Anglican parochial system, which featured highly localized institutions sustained by the established church, actually formed a strong and durable wedge between urban and rural communities.

About the Author: Carl Estabrook is Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College.

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Title: Urbane and Rustic England: Cultural Ties and...
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Estabrook, Carl B.
Published by Manchester University Press (1998)
ISBN 10: 0719053196 ISBN 13: 9780719053191
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Book Description Manchester University Press, 1998. Hardback. Condition: Very Good-. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good-. Black boards in dust jacket, slight fading to dj, page edges slightly age-darkened, no ownership marks. ; Politics, Culture & Society in Early Modern Britain; 317 pages. Seller Inventory # 27172

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Estabrook, Carl B.
ISBN 10: 0719053196 ISBN 13: 9780719053191
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Book Description Some foxing to edges of pages throughout - LIKE NEW and UNREAD BOOK - Dispatch by PRIORITY POST within TWO WORKING DAYS with IMMEDIATE CONFIRMATION - Independent bookseller established for 20 years. Excellent customer service is our priority. No-quibble 30-day refund guarantee. Seller Inventory # azdb05

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Carl B. Estabrook
Published by Manchester Univ Pr (1999)
ISBN 10: 0719053196 ISBN 13: 9780719053191
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Book Description Manchester Univ Pr, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0719053196

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