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The Wild and the Sown
Botany and Agriculture in Western Europe, 1350–1850


Part of Past and Present Publications

  • Date Published: February 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521108812

£ 46.99

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About the Authors
  • This 1997 book describes the spread of new agricultural practice in the half millennium after 1350, and reconstructs a neglected part of Europe's agricultural past: the introduction of fodder crops, and the continuous reorganisation of traditional botanical inputs within a new system of farming. New agricultural systems, based on convertible husbandry, clovers, turnips and roots, were introduced to some areas of Europe from the 1750s, and gave new impetus to productivity. However this so-called 'agricultural revolution' had demanded a learning process in which recourse to ancient and medieval botany helped farmers and scholars to overcome a situation of stalemate in early modern technology. The book breaks entirely new ground by showing the distant historical origins of a major transformation in land potential and farm productivity. A vast range of evidence is cited from Italy, France, England and elsewhere to provide a history of the 'agricultural revolution' in Europe.

    • Offers a cultural approach to the history of agriculture and the 'agricultural revolution'
    • Includes a vast array of material from many countries, much of it unknown previously
    • Demonstrates the interaction and co-operation between scientists, peasants and landowners in working for prosperous innovation
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521108812
    • length: 504 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 27 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Joan Thirsk
    1. Translations and classification of the natural environment from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century
    2. From medieval agronomy to Renaissance agriculture
    3. Lucerne in Italy
    4. Forage crops in France: diffusion and retreat
    5. Tradition and innovation in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England
    6. The new crops and English agriculture
    7. From theory to seed production: England and continental Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

  • Author

    Mauro Ambrosoli, Università degli Studi di Udine, Italy

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