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  • Cited by 101
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
October 2009
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Book description

Bruce Campbell's book, first published in 2000, was the first single-authored treatment of medieval English agriculture at a national scale. It deals comprehensively with the cultivation carried out by or for lords on their demesne farms, for which the documentation is more detailed and abundant than for any other agricultural group either during the medieval period or later. A context is thereby assured for all future work on the medieval and early modern agrarian economies. The book also makes a substantive contribution to ongoing historical debates about the dimensions, chronology and causes of the medieval cycle of expansion, crisis and contraction. Topics dealt with include the scale and composition of seigniorial estates, the geography of land-use, pastoral husbandry, arable husbandry, land productivity, levels of commercialization and the size of the population in relation to the consumption of food at any given time.


‘If there are, a generation and more from now, still students willing and able to undertake medieval social and economic history, a standard question of those attempting regional, estate, or manorial studies will be ‘have you looked up your manor/estate/region in ‘Campbell’? … It is, simply put, one of the most important works on medieval English agrarian history to have been published.’

Source: The English Historical Review

‘This is certainly a book which will promote further discussion of how the late medieval economy and population actually worked, and it will do much to make that discussion better informed.’

Source: Local Population Studies Society

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