Rural Worlds

Economic, Social and Cultural Histories of Agricultures and Rural Societies

Series Editor:

We like to forget that agriculture is one of the core human activities. In historic societies most people lived in the countryside: a high, if falling proportion of the population were engaged in the production and processing of foodstuffs. The possession of land was a key form of wealth: it brought not only income from tenants but prestige, access to a rural lifestyle and often political power. Nor could government ever be disinterested in the countryside, whether to maintain urban food supply, as a source of taxation, or to maintain social peace. Increasingly it managed every aspect of the countryside. Agriculture itself and the social relations within the countryside were in constant flux as farmers reacted to new or changing opportunities, and landlords sought to maintain or increase their incomes. Moreover, urban attitudes to - and representation of - the landscape and its inhabitants were constantly shifting.

These questions of competition and change, production, power and perception are the primary themes of the series. It looks at change and competition in the countryside: social relations within it and between urban and rural societies. The series offers a forum for the publication of the best work on all of these issues, straddling the economic, social and cultural, concentrating on the rural history of Britain and Ireland, Europe and its colonial empires, and North America over the past millennium.

  • Farm Animals in Britain, 1850-2001 book cover

    Farm Animals in Britain, 1850-2001

    1st Edition

    By Karen Sayer

    Focusing on the origins and development of the conceptualisation of the biological animal body as a ’technological’ resource, or indeed problem, within modern British agriculture, this book addresses the changing understanding, among agriculturalists and the public, of ’nature’ in farming.…

    Hardback – 2018-12-15 
    Rural Worlds

  • Inclusive Commons and the Sustainability of Peasant Communities in the Medieval Low Countries book cover

    Inclusive Commons and the Sustainability of Peasant Communities in the Medieval Low Countries

    1st Edition

    By Maïka De Keyzer

    Is inclusiveness in the commons and sustainability a paradox? Late medieval and Early Modern rural societies encountered challenges because of growing population pressure, urbanisation and commercialisation. While some regions went along this path and commercialised and intensified production,…

    Hardback – 2018-04-20
    Rural Worlds

  • Rockites, Magistrates and Parliamentarians: Governance and Disturbances in Pre-Famine Rural Munster book cover

    Rockites, Magistrates and Parliamentarians

    Governance and Disturbances in Pre-Famine Rural Munster, 1st Edition

    By Shunsuke Katsuta

    Early nineteenth-century Ireland witnessed widespread and prolonged rural unrest, as groups of labourers and smallholders formed secret societies demanding land reform, fair rents, the protection of wages and an end to tithes. One of the most active of these groups - the Rockites - waged a vigorous…

    Hardback – 2017-08-24
    Rural Worlds

  • Transforming the Countryside: The Electrification of Rural Britain book cover

    Transforming the Countryside

    The Electrification of Rural Britain, 1st Edition

    Edited by Paul Brassley, Jeremy Burchardt, Karen Sayer

    It is now almost impossible to conceive of life in western Europe, either in the towns or the countryside, without a reliable mains electricity supply. By 1938, two-thirds of rural dwellings had been connected to a centrally generated supply, but the majority of farms in Britain were not linked to…

    Hardback – 2016-12-05
    Rural Worlds

  • Agriculture in Capitalist Europe, 1945–1960: From food shortages to food surpluses book cover

    Agriculture in Capitalist Europe, 1945–1960

    From food shortages to food surpluses, 1st Edition

    Edited by Carin Martiin, Juan Pan-Montojo, Paul Brassley

    In the years before the Second World War agriculture in most European states was carried out on peasant or small family farms using technologies that relied mainly on organic inputs and local knowledge and skills, supplying products into a market that was partly local or national, partly…

    Hardback – 2016-06-20
    Rural Worlds

  • Observing Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Italy: Agricultural economists and statistics book cover

    Observing Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Italy

    Agricultural economists and statistics, 1st Edition

    By Federico D'Onofrio

    Agricultural Economists in Early Twentieth-Century Italy describes how Italian agricultural economists collected information about the economy of Italy, between the Giolittian and the Fascist era. The book carefully describes three main forms of economic observation: enquiries, statistics, and farm…

    Hardback – 2016-05-25
    Rural Worlds

  • Coping with Crisis: The Resilience and Vulnerability of Pre-Industrial Settlements book cover

    Coping with Crisis: The Resilience and Vulnerability of Pre-Industrial Settlements

    1st Edition

    By Daniel R. Curtis

    Why in the pre-industrial period were some settlements resilient and stable over the long term while other settlements were vulnerable to crisis? Indeed, what made certain human habitations more prone to decline or even total collapse, than others? All pre-industrial societies had to face certain…

    Hardback – 2014-08-29
    Rural Worlds