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Worlds within worlds : the structures of life in sixteenth-century London /
Steven Rappaport.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c1989.
description
xv, 449 p. : ill. --
ISBN
0521350654
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c1989.
isbn
0521350654
catalogue key
1821659
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-04:
In this solid--if somewhat tedious--study, Rappaport argues that although London experienced demographic growth, social inequality, and significant price increases similar to those experienced by major Continental towns in the 16th century, conspicuously absent in the English case was the ensuing chronic social and economic instability that plagued these European cities. To substantiate this claim, Rappaport produces a significant body of both archival and printed material about London's economy, particularly its structure of apprenticeship, wages, and consumption. On the basis of this survey he concludes that despite the capital's colossal population growth and soaring food prices, traditional accounts of its bleak economic and social condition, e.g., that as many as two-thirds of London's population were beneath poverty level, are in need of revision. In a more speculative vein, Rappaport attributes London's relative stability and social tranquillity to immediate and effective regulatory institutions--notably the livery companies--that simultaneously involved the inhabitants with local government and exerted forceful control over their behavior. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -M. Feingold, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1990
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
Worlds Within Worlds combines sophisticated quantitative analysis with vivid empirical detail, and mounts a major challenge to much current thinking about urban life in early modern Britain.
Description for Library
In this book Professor Rappaport looks once again at the nature, causes, and effects of the principal threats to the capital's stability in the sixteenth century - the threefold increase in population, the economic impact of such demographic expansion, the substantial rise in prices and the inequitable distribution of wealth and power - and concludes that historians have hitherto exaggerated the severity of such problems and over-simplified their effects. His researches suggest that the institutional superstructure of the capital was more adaptable, its small social organisations more resilient, and opportunities for social mobility far greater than many historians have acknowledged.
Main Description
The enormous growth of London during the early modern period brought with it major social problems, yet, as Steve Rappaport demonstrates in this innovative study, Tudor London was essentially a stable society, subject to stress but never seriously threatened by widespread popular unrest or other forms of instability. Professor Rappaport looks once again at the nature, causes, and effects of the principal threats to the capital's stability in the sixteenth century - the threefold increase in population, the economic impact of such demographic expansion, the substantial rise in prices and the inequitable distribution of wealth and power - and concludes that historians have hitherto exaggerated the severity of such problems and over-simplified their effects. Professor Rappaport's researches suggest that the institutional superstructure of the capital was more adaptable, its small social organisations more resilient, and opportunities for social mobility far greater than many historians have acknowledged. Worlds Within Worlds combines sophisticated quantitative analysis with vivid empirical detail, and mounts a major challenge to much current thinking about urban life in early modern Britain.
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
Acknowledgements
Note on conventions
Introduction
The nature and extent of citizenship
The growth of population
Demographic growth and Tudor London's economy
The standard of living
The substructure of society
Structural inequality
Patterns of mobility
Social stability in sixteenth-century London
Appendices
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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