Marriage and Rural Economy
The history of marriage in Western Europe, because of its peculiarities when viewed in a global setting, compels attention. This volume examines rural marriage patterns in the long run, relating these to changing economic conditions in the North Sea area, from c. 1400 to the present. More than thirty years after Hajnal's path-breaking publication it presents a state of the art as regards the study of the European Marriage Pattern in Ireland, Scotland, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. By examining different forms of rural economy such as peasant farming, capitalist farming, prot-industry and other systems of production with differing implications for marriage and family formation, demographic and economic mechanisms emerge more clearly. Turning from description to explanation, a complex of interacting factors which regulate the formation of new households is identified and new directions into the research of this phenomenon are promoted. This volume comprises 11 article-chapters and introduction and conclusion and is the result of international collaboration from members of the CORN network. It is a work of richness, subtlety and historical depth, which makes essential reading for those interested in the evolution of marriage patterns, in the distant past and in more recent times.