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Making a Living in the Middle Ages: v. 1 (Penguin Economic History of Britain)
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Making a Living in the Middle Ages: v. 1 (The New Economic History of Britain)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Dramatic social and economic change during the middle ages altered the lives of the people of Britain in far-reaching ways, from the structure of their families to the ways they made their livings. In this engagingly written economic history, Christopher Dyer provides a vivid new account of British medieval life from the Viking invasions through the Norman conquest to the ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 31st 2003 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published February 8th 2002)
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I couldn't do it. I just couldn't finish it. This could be so interesting--an in-depth look at the economics and social impacts of economics from 850-1550 or some such. But no. Thank you, Dyer, for botching the job. I couldn't figure out who his audience was--one minute he would be describing the minutiae of wool gathering and sales, the next painstakingly explaining what the Norman Conquest of 1066 was. Was this supposed to be a popular book? A book for historians that are looking into economic ...more
Dyer's economic history of Medieval Britain offers a high-level account of the transformation of systems of production and exchange during the Middle Ages. Drawing upon illustrative demographic statistics as well as individual biographies, the text highlights the technological and administrative innovations that helped drive the growth of urbanization and the market economy, while underscoring the continuity of the basic institutions of feudalism. Dyer rejects narratives dependent upon any one c ...more
A solid and entertaining book (if you're a serious history or economics buff). Part of The New Economic History of Britain series. Upper level college class level, not the first book to read on the Middle Ages, but can be read after two or three others. No footnotes, but an extensive 'Further Reading' section.

The book is divided into three parts - Anglo-Saxon, Norman to Plague, Post-Plague. Dyer discusses all the different economic classes, lords, peasants and the emerging merchant class (NOT th
There are many strands one could comment on - one thing that struck me is the extent to which well-written history can remind us that a human life is ever so brief, and judgments made too closely and singularly from the basis of one's lived experience risk being profoundly wrong.

If halves were available I'd give this 3 and a half stars.
Joe Paulk
I really enjoyed this book and was surprised I did due to the rather stuffy title. Much of the information is unique and hard to find in other areas. The overall layout and readability also make much of the history in it accessible.
Very academic. It is not for light/casual reading. Then again, most economics books are not light reading. Still, it is hard getting past the cold academic writing.
Paula Hiatt
Interesting information, but not great writing
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Other Books in the Series

The New Economic History of Britain (3 books)
  • Earthly Necessities: Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain, 1470-1750
  • The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850
Everyday Life in Medieval England Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages: Social Change in England c.1200 1520 (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks, #3) Lords and Peasants in a Changing Society: The Estates of the Bishopric of Worcester, 680-1540 An Age of Transition?: Economy and Society in England in the Later Middle Ages Quotes for the Journey Through Life

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