Top positive review
2 January 2018
'Earthly Necessities' is a fine, somewhat scholarly work, covering a period of nearly 300 years of British social and economic history. It paints a detailed picture of the nation's economic evolution in the period preceding the 'industrial revolution', looking at the growth of industry, trade, towns and wealth from the perspective of ordinary working men and women. Keith Wrightson undoubtedly knows his subject extremely well and throughout the book he quotes widely from numerous other historians of the period.
My one small criticism is his lengthy essay at the start of the book which examines how the study of social and economic history has changed over time. The ordinary reader with an interest in history should not be put off by this. I suspect this will primarily be of interest to other academics and feel that it would have be better placed at the end of the book as an appendix .