Land, Kinship, and Life-cycle - Richard M. SmithCambridge, London, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne & Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1984, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Includes: Tables; Number 1 in the series.
From the cover: “The essays in this book attempt to reassess the view, widely held among students of pre-industrial European society, that the transmission of property either at death or marriage forms decisive moments in the life-cycle of the individual and the family. Indeed, so important are these moments believed to be that they are often thought to determine such fundamental features in rural society as the composition of the household, patterns of migration, sex roles, marriage decision-making and the quality of relationships between and within generations of the same family. In presenting detailed case studies from individual rural communities over the years between 1250 to 1850, these essays reveal that much land was transferred between living persons who were related neither by blood nor by marriage and that kin were often not the only members of work groups or assistance networks in the countryside. Although the focus is on the strata of English society below the landed aristocracy and the urban merchant elites, the pre-occupation with those holding land whether under freehold or customary or copyhold tenure is tempered by essays that investigate the economic problems in the life-cycles of the property less or those unable through, for example, illness or age to work and manage their property.
In a lengthy analytical introduction Richard Smith assesses the case both of those who argue that family forms have been moulded by the manner in which property has been transmitted within and between families, and of those who view the kinship system as for the most part independent of such material influences.”