A Marginal Economy?
East Anglian Breckland in the Later Middle Ages
By (author) Mark Bailey
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Marginal Economy? by Mark Bailey
Book DescriptionA theory of the margin has long featured in the work of medieval historians. Marginal regions are taken to be those of poor soil or geographical remoteness, where farmers experienced particular difficulties in grain production. It is argued that such regions were cultivated only when demographic pressure intensified in the thirteenth century, but that a combination of soil exhaustion and demographic decline resulted in severe economic contraction by the end of the fourteenth century. Marginal regions are seen not just as sensitive barometers of economic change but as important catalysts in that change. Despite the importance placed by historians on the general theory of the margin, this book represents the first detailed study of a 'marginal region'. It focuses upon East Anglian Breckland, whose blowing sands are among the most barren soils in lowland England. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, this study reconstructs Breckland's late medieval economy, and shows it to be more diversified and resilient than the stereotype depicted in marginal theory.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521073141
(216mm x 140mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 4-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Mark Bailey
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Year of the Pig, Paperback (September 2011)
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Medieval Suffolk: An Economic and Social History, 1200-1500, Paperback (February 2010)» View all books by Mark Bailey
The first volume in what will become the definitive history of Suffolk looks at how the county survived the three most tumultuous events of the period, the Great Famine, the Black Death and the Peasants' Revolt, to emerge as one of the richest English regions.
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