God Speed the Plough: The Representation of Agrarian England, 1500-1660

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 12, 2002 - Business & Economics - 352 pages
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This book presents a fresh view of crucial processes of change, offering through an interdisciplinary analysis, fresh insights into both the history and literature of the land in early modern England. In the period 1500 to 1660 the practices and values of rural England were exposed to unprecedented challenges. Within this context a wide variety of commentators examined and debated the changing conditions, a process documented in the pages of sermons, pamphlets, satiric verse and drama, husbandry and surveying manuals, chorographical tracts, and rural poetry. The book argues that important movements revised assumptions about agrarian England, and shaped bold new appreciations of rural life. While Tudor moralists responded to social crises by asserting ideals of rural stability and community, by the seventeenth century a discourse of improvement promoted divergent notions of thrift and property.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
VERSIONS OF MORAL ECONOMY
21
Covetousness in the countryside agrarian complaint and midTudor reform
23
Moral economics and the TudorStuart Church
58
The rural vision of Renaissance satire
80
Agrarian communism
110
IMPERATIVES OF IMPROVEMENT
133
Husbandry manuals and agrarian improvement
135
To know ones own the discourse of the estate surveyor
169
Georgic economics
198
THE PROFITS AND PLEASURES OF THE LAND
229
Chorography the view from the gentlemans seat
231
Rural poetics
262
Bibliography of primary sources
300
Index
319
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Andrew McRae is Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of Exeter. He is the author of God Speed the Plough: the Representation of Agrarian England, 1500 1660 (Cambridge, 1996) and Renaissance Drama (2003), and co-editor of The Writing of Rural England 1500 1800 (2003).

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