Clermont de Lodeve 1633-1789: Fluctuations in the Prosperity of a Languedocian Cloth-making Town

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In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Clermont-de-Lodève, a Languedocian cloth-making town, experienced two major cycles in its development. In the seventeenth century unprecedented prosperity was followed by deep and prolonged depression, and in the eighteenth a rapid, if irregular, industrial expansion was interrupted by a major crisis and followed by a painful and protracted decline. The purpose of this book is to describe the economic and social manifestations of these cycles as precisely as the sources permit, focussing in particular on the varying characteristics of Clermont's elite.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the impact of the state on French economic development … .a major contribution to French local history with … a broad and penetrating analysis of the pre-industrial economy.' David Parker, The Times Literary Supplement

'The title of this splendid monograph does not do justice to its importance and relevance to the larger questions in French and even European economic development. It is much more than a chronological treatment of the vicissitudes of the wool industry in a hill-town in southern France in the Old Regime. As a step-by-step analysis of a pre-industrial cycle extending over more than a century, J. K. J. Thomson's study raises economic questions and proposes answers that are applicable to France as a whole.' R Forster, Journal of European Economic History

'… a serious contribution to our knowledge of the French textile industry and of the preindustrial economy in general … he has the important merit of having drawn our attention to the interwoven complexities of industrial development and class structure.' J Kaplow, American Historical Review

'What could easily have been a narrow and arid piece of research has been transformed by Dr Thomson into a lively contribution, relevant to the broader problems which economic and social historians discuss.' Tom Kemp, British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies

'Such a summary does not do justice to the richness of Thomson's portrayal of successive generations of clothiers and the interpenetration of their personal and business relationships.' Thomas M. Adams, Business History Review

'… both James Thomson and Colin Jones have chosen areas of particular interest to historians which take up new avenues. The more important and original work … is that of James Thomson. The Languedoc woollen industry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries cried out for detailed examination.' Olwen Hufton, European Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521541091
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/23/2003
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of maps; List of tables; Preface; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction; 2. Languedoc; 3. Clermont-de-Lodève; 4. Clermont during the seventeenth century; 5. Colbert, Languedoc, Saptes, Villenouvette; 6. Villenouvette succeeds; 7. Villenouvette and Clermont; 8. The first thirty years, 1695–1724; 9. The second thirty years, 1725–54; 10. A change in policy and its consequences, 1754–9; 11. The last thirty years, 1760–89, 'The Age of Iron': an explanation; 12. Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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