The Rise of the English Town, 1650-1850 by Christopher Chalklin
This 2001 volume in New Studies in Economic and Social History examines the growth and development of English towns in the critical period between 1650 and 1850, when the proportion of the population living in towns rose from a sixth to a half. Christopher Chalklin surveys the demography, economy and social structure of market and county towns, port and manufacturing centres, new dockyard towns, spas and seaside resorts. He discusses house and public building, education, work and leisure activities, public duties and politics, and contrasts the emerging middle classes with the artisan and labouring masses. This book gives a detailed and coherent account of this formative period, drawing especially on recent research and new interpretations, including those which are controversial, published in monographs and learned journals. This concise study will be a valuable resource for students not only of urban history but also of economic and social history in general.