The cottage industry of France enjoyed enormous growth from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. Through an intensive analysis of the social and economic impact of the expansion of this female-dominated industry, Gay Gullickson broadens our understanding of the variety and complexity of proto-industrial regions and of the proto-industrial processes. Focusing on the village of Auffay, located in the pays de Caux, a thriving agricultural region, Gullickson recreates the experiences of the women and men who spun and wove for the urban putting-out merchants. Social analysis of local memoirs, government reports, notarial and judicial records, and village cahiers de doléances, enables Gullickson to offer a more nuanced and accurate view of the causes and consequences of the expansion of the cottage textile industry in the pre-factory era. Her 1987 study is further enhanced by a quantitative analysis based primarily on the reconstitution of the families of the 727 couples who married in Auffay between 1750 and 1850.
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The pays and the village; 3. Proto-industrial theory and the pays de Caux; 4. The golden age of spinning; 5. Crisis and change in the Caux; 6. The golden age of cottage weaving; 7. Marriage and family in proto-industrial Auffay; 8. Widowhood, remarriage, and the sexual division of labor; 9. Unwed mothers and their children; 10. Conclusions: the causes and consequences of proto-industrialization; Appendix; Notes; Bibliography; Index.