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History of Pedlars in Europe by Laurence Fontaine


History of Pedlars in Europe by Laurence Fontaine

In this, the first sustained account of pedlars and peddling, Laurence Fontaine argues that pedlars and the networks they built up played a crucial role in the birth of the modern European economy.


Laurence Fontainea s meticulous study breathes new life into social history ... Her book will be a landmark. Le Monde An important study ... the chronological scope of the History of Pedlars is admirably broad ... The book, admirably achieves the authora s stated objective of rescuing the trade of peddling from marginalization. Economic History Review A pioneering work ... Fontainea s interpretation of peddling is bold and imaginative. The book is ... valuable and interesting. Danish National Business Archives This is a pioneering work about peddling in Europe, 1400--1900. Fontainea s interpretation of peddling is bold and imaginative ... valuable and interesting. Business History Laurence Fontainea s History of Pedlars in Europe is a remarkable achievement. Her study sweeps impressively from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century, and the decline of peddling to the twentieth century, when the profession had largely died away. In this new study, Fontaine ranges across frontiers with the ease of her pedlars themselves. She adopts a European--wide scale. But while the contours of Fontainea s story are large, her analysis is built upon wonderfully detailed material culled from a daunting variety of archives, family papers, account books and mutations apres deces, as well as from secondary literature marshalled from far and wide. In this subtle tour de force, the history of Europea s pedlars and their astonishing mobility and networks of credit jump to life. Fontainea s prose, admirably rendered into English by Vicki Whittaker, is engaging and elegant. French History The value of this book lies in its holistic analysis of the organization and culture of European pedlars. English Historical Review

About the Author

Laurence Fontaine is a researcher at the CNRS, Paris.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th February 1996


Laurence Fontaine

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Polity Press


288 pages


Economic history
Social classes
Social & cultural history
European history



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