Through a series of sharply focused studies spanning three centuries, David Rollison explores the rise of capitalist manufacturing in the English countryside and the revolution in consciousness that accompanied it. Combining the empiricism of English historiography with the rationalism of Annales, and drawing on ideas from a wide range of disciplines, he argues that the explosive implications of the rise of rural industry created new social formations and altered the communal, cultural and social contexts of peoples lives. Using localized case studies of families and individuals the book starts with significant detail and moves out to build up a subtle and innovative view of English cultural identities in the early modern period.
`… a wonderfully insightful work, … Rollison has written a major piece of suggestive scholarship … The Local Origins of Modern Society is a book to be savoured and, I hope, one to be shared with all ranks; I recommend it enthusiastically.' - Social History