Marriage, Debt, and the Estates System: English Landownership, 1650-1950

Hardcover | January 1, 1989

byJohn Habakkuk

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Unil the later nineteenth century the great landlords and the gentry were the central element in the social and political life of the country, and even as late as 1940, in the supreme crisis of English history, the choice of leader lay between a grandson of the 11th Earl of Devon and agrandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. This book examines the social and legal foundations of this class - the estate and the family - from the late seventeenth century, when it freed itself from many of the constraints of royal power, to the present century when it became submerged by massdemocracy. It sets out to answer the question why, in the first industrial nation, the landed elite so long retained its role. Sir John Habakkuk's comprehensive examination of the structure of the landed family, its estate, and its relations with other social groups sheds light on this problem, and makes a major contribution to historical debate.

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Unil the later nineteenth century the great landlords and the gentry were the central element in the social and political life of the country, and even as late as 1940, in the supreme crisis of English history, the choice of leader lay between a grandson of the 11th Earl of Devon and agrandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. This book...

John Habakkuk is at All Souls College, Oxford.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:804 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 2.01 inPublished:January 1, 1989Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198203985

ISBN - 13:9780198203988

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`splendid book ... The details are massed down the age, yet the writing is so clear, and the material so well organized into sections, that the reader is led effortlessly through the examples to the conclusions at the end of each chapter. Habakkuk's great book is the culmination of his work onlandownership. His legacy will be that his ideas will continue to provoke historical debate of the highest quality, enhanced by the richness of the material available in the United Kingdom.'Barbara English, University of Hull, The Historical Association 1997