The Middling Sort: Commerce, Gender, and the Family in England, 1680-1780
To be one of "the middling sort" in urban England in the late seventeenth or eighteenth century was to live a life tied, one way or another, to the world of commerce. In a lively study that combines narrative and alternately poignant and hilarious anecdotes with convincing analysis, Margaret R. Hunt offers a view of middling society during the hundred years that separated the Glorious Revolution from the factory age. Thanks to her exploration of many family papers and court records, Hunt is able to examine what people thought, felt, and valued. She finds that early capitalism and early modern family life were far more insecure than their "classical" models supposed.
Commercial needs and social needs coincided to a large extent. The family is central to Hunt's story, and she shows how financial struggles brought conflict, ambiguity, and tension to the home. She investigates the way gender intertwined with class and family hierarchy and the way many businesses survived as precarious successes, secured through the sacrifices made by female as well as male family members.
The Middling Sort offers a dynamic portrait of a society struggling to minimize the considerable social and psychic dislocation that accompanied England's launch of a full-scale market economy.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
A Generation of Vipers Prudential Virtue and the Sons of Trade
To Read Knit and Spin Middling Daughters and the Family Economy
Just in All Their Dealings Middling Men and the Reformation of Manners 16701739
EighteenthCentury Middling Women and Trade
The Bonds of Matrimony and the Spirit of Capitalism
Print Culture and the Middling Classes Mapping the World of Commerce
Private Order and Political Virtue Domesticity and the Ruling Class
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE NOTES
Other editions - View all
accounts aristocratic Autobiography Barnes brother Cambridge capital Charlotte Charke commercial Court creditors Culture daughters David Fordyce debt Diary directories discussion Doddridge E. P. Thompson early modern period economic eigh eighteenth-century Eighteenth-Century England eighteenth-century middling Eleanor Coade elite Elizabeth Elizabeth Ashbridge English especially father female Fordyce friends gender gentry Guildhall historians History husband Ibid invest J. H. Plumb James Fordyce Jeake John labor least less literacy Little Female Academy lives London male marriage married merchant Middle Class middling families middling sort middling women one's Oxford parents percent Philip Doddridge political printed prostitutes Reformation of Manners relatives Religious Societies Richard Steele Royal Exchange Assurance Samuel Samuel Jeake Sarah separate estate sexual shopkeepers social Societies for Reformation sons spinsters suggest teenth century tion town trade Trumbach University Press urban virtue widows wife woman writing York young