Decision-Making in Medieval Agriculture

Overview

This fascinating and important book uses a wealth of contemporary sources to reconstruct the mental world of medieval farmers and, by doing so, argues that there has been a stereotypical interpretation of the middle ages. David Stone overturns the traditional view of medieval countrymen as economically backward and instead reveals that agricultural decision-making was as rational in the fouteenth century as in modern times. Investigating agricultural mentalities first at a local level and then for England as a ...

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Overview

This fascinating and important book uses a wealth of contemporary sources to reconstruct the mental world of medieval farmers and, by doing so, argues that there has been a stereotypical interpretation of the middle ages. David Stone overturns the traditional view of medieval countrymen as economically backward and instead reveals that agricultural decision-making was as rational in the fouteenth century as in modern times. Investigating agricultural mentalities first at a local level and then for England as a whole, Dr Stone argues that human action shaped the course of the rural economy to a much greater extent than has hitherto been appreciated, and challenges the commonly held view that the medieval period was dominated by ecological and economic crises. Focusing in particular on responses to commercial forces and the adoption of agricultural technology, this book has significant implications for our understanding of agricultural development throughout the last thousand years.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199247769
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/8/2005
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Stone currently teaches history at Dulwich College. Previously he was a Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

I: Introduction
1. Interpreting Medieval Agriculture
2. The Demesne Farm of Wisbech Barton
II: The Management of Resources at Wisbech Barton
3. From Agrarian Crisis to the Black Death
4. The 'Indian Summer' for Demesne Farming
5. Responding to Pressure at the turn of the Fifteenth Century
6. The Last Phase of Direct Cultivation
III: Decision Making on Medieval Agriculture
7. Standards of Demesne Farm Management in England
8. The Use of Agricultural Techniques in Medieval England
Bibliography
Index

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