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The English Peasant Studies: Historical, Local, and Biographic by Richard Heath

The English Peasant Studies: Historical, Local, and Biographic

Part of the Cambridge Library Collection - British and Irish History, 19th Century Series


The English Peasant Studies: Historical, Local, and Biographic by Richard Heath

Richard Heath, about whom very little is known, travelled around England, and wrote a series of essays on agricultural workers, towards the end of the nineteenth century, when rural life and agriculture were undergoing great changes. The English Peasant was published in book form in 1893. It begins with an outline history of peasant life, which presents a very depressing picture. Agricultural workers' housing may have been picturesque but was primitive in the extreme, and enclosure of common land had worsened their lot, especially in the south and west of England. Heath gives graphic pictures of the conditions in which peasant families lived and worked, dwelling especially on the high figures for infant mortality. He was understandably shocked that a Christian country could let its workers live like this, but hoped that the foundation of the National Agricultural Labourers' Union in 1872 would result in improvements in the workers' condition.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th January 2011


Richard Heath

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Cambridge University Press


396 pages


Social & cultural history
Social groups



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