Family and Inheritance: Rural Society in Western Europe, 1200-1800

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More About This Textbook

Overview

This pioneering book examines different aspects of the inheritance customs in rural Western Europe in the pre-industrial age: for families and whole societies, the roles of lawyers in reducing them to a common system, and the recurring debate on the merits of various inheritance customs in shaping particular kinds of society. At first sight the study of inheritance customs may appear to be a dull affair, concerned with outdated practices of hair-splitting lawyers; certainly, little academic interest has been shown in the subject. Yet inheritance customs are vital means for the reproduction of the social system, by the transmission of property and other rights through the family. Various family structures and social arrangements are linked by different means of inheritance. This book will interest a wide range of historians, students, postgraduates and teachers alike, whether they are concerned with social, economic, demographic or legal history, in the medieval, early modern or modern periods, and whether their interests are directed to England or other countries of Western Europe; it will also be valuable to social anthropologists, sociologists and historians of ideas. A comprehensive glossary of technical terms has been added for the non-specialist.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521293549
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/18/1978
  • Series: Past and Present Publications Series
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Jack Goody; 1. Inheritance, property and women: some comparative considerations Jack Goody; 2. Family structures and inheritance customs in sixteenth century France Emmanuel Le Roy Laudrie; 3. Inheritance, land tenure and peasant family structure: a German regional comparison Lutz K. Berkner; 4. Aspects of kinship behaviours and property in rural Western Europe before 1800 David Sabean; 5. Peasant inheritance customs in the Midlands, 1280-1700 Cicley Howell; 6. Peasant inheritance customs and land distribution in Cambridgeshire from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries Margaret Spufford; 7. The European debate on customs of inheritance, 1500-1700 Jan Thirsk; 8. Patterns of inheritance and settlement by great landowners from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries J. P. Cooper; 9. The grid of inheritance: a comment E. P. Thompson; 10. Private property in history V. G. Kieran; Glossary; Index.

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