We would like to encourage proposals for a new Ashgate series, Rural Worlds: Economic, Social and Cultural Histories of Agricultures and Rural Societies, edited by Richard W. Hoyle, University of Reading.
The Rural Worlds series has as its primary themes questions of competition and change, production, power and perception.
The series looks at change and competition in the countryside: social relations within it and between urban and rural societies. It offers a forum for the publication of the best work on all of these issues, straddling the economic, social and cultural, concentrating on the rural history of Britain and Ireland, Europe and its colonial empires, and North America over the past millennium.
We like to forget that agriculture is one of the core human activities. In historic societies most people lived in the countryside: a high, if falling proportion of the population were engaged in the production and processing of foodstuffs. The possession of land was a key form of wealth: it brought not only income from tenants but prestige, access to a rural lifestyle and often political power.
Nor could government ever be disinterested in the countryside, whether to maintain urban food supply, as a source of taxation, or to maintain social peace. Increasingly it managed every aspect of the countryside. Agriculture itself and the social relations within the countryside were in constant flux as farmers reacted to new or changing opportunities, and landlords sought to maintain or increase their incomes. Moreover, urban attitudes to the landscape and its inhabitants were constantly shifting.
Do you have a book proposal for this series?
Please contact the Commissioning Editor, Emily Yates.
For information on how to submit a proposal, visit: