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Studies in British and Imperial History
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The Rise of Market Society in England, 1066-1800
Translated from the German by Deborah Cohen
176 pages, 12 illus., 5 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-258-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2013)
ISBN 978-1-78533-217-3 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (March 2016)
eISBN 978-1-78238-259-1 eBook
“…this monograph, smoothly translated from the German and with a useful bibliography, should attract academic readers from undergraduates to faculty… Highly recommended.” • Choice
“Eisenberg is to be commended for setting out a clear narrative that could help to frame future research by both historians and social scientists… Still, despite the sweeping nature of Eisenberg’s narrative, it will be of interest to historians of economic development from all periods and to social scientists studying today’s ‘market society.’… the bookcan serve as a good springboard for fruitful scholarly debate.” • Journal of Modern History
“Overall this is an impressive synthesis, in which essential developments and complex facts are presented concisely and to the point. Whether England’s development was as exceptional or whether also other regions of Europe revealed early traits of a commercial culture, remains to be explored by further research.” • Archiv für Sozialgeschichte online
“A fascinating book that offers a solid basis and many inspirations for new research.” • Sehepunkte
“[This study] is enviably succinct and gives readers an overview of main developments in the rise of a market society, stretching from the 11th century to the early 19th. More than any other book on this subject I know, it engages directly with major approaches and theorists in the social science, past and present. Finally, it connects commercial changes with law, institutions and social hierarchy.” • Frank Trentmann, Birkbeck College
“It requires considerable courage to describe England’s path to the market economy from the Norman Conquest to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in such a slim book. Maybe it needs the perspective of a well informed outsider to tackle such a demanding task….Of particular value for an English-speaking readership is the fact that the author presents recent German-language research on Britain that tends to be ignored. And not less interesting are the author’s explicit comparisons with Continental Europe, especially Germany.” • Willibald Steinmetz, University of Bielefeld
Focusing on England, this study reconstructs the centuries-long process of commercialization that gave birth to the modern market society. It shows how certain types of markets (e.g. those for real estate, labor, capital, and culture) came into being, and how the social relations mediated by markets were formed. The book deals with the creation of institutions like the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London, as well as the way the English dealt with the uncertainty and the risks involved in market transactions. Christiane Eisenberg shows that the creation of a market society and modern capitalism in England occurred under circumstances that were utterly different from those on the European continent. In addition, she demonstrates that as a process, the commercialization of business, society, and culture in England did not lead directly to an industrial society, as has previously been suggested, but rather to a service economy.
Christiane Eisenberg is Professor of British History at the Centre for British Studies at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Her interests lie in the comparative social and cultural histories of Germany and Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries. Internationally she is known for her work on the diffusion of modern sport.