Wretched Faces : Famine in Wartime England 1793-1801. First Edition in dustjacket

By: WELLS, Roger

Price: $40.00

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WELLS, Roger. Wretched Faces : Famine in Wartime England 1793-1801. Gloucester : Alan Sutton / New York : St. Martin's Press, 1988. First Edition. Pp (4),v-xii,(2),[3]-466. 8vo, bllack cloth, gilt lettering to spine. "In 1798, the Rev. T. R. Malthus published his explosive thesis arguing that population had a natural tendency to expand with the capacity of any society to feed itself. The most strident component of the Malthusian case turned on the ‘positive check’ to demographic growth, a subsistence crisis generating malnutrition-induced disease and starvation, and thereby inflicting a markeddrop in population. Malthus’s argument was based on historical experience, but his vision was conditioned by, and conceived in, a late eighteenth-cen tury context. Historians, while acknowledging that Tudor and Stuart precedents, and contemporary experience in continental Europe, and even in colonial Ireland, could be marshalled in support of Malthus’s position at that time, have ignored any consideration of why an English country clergyman, should have developed such a pessimistic theory. English historians unthinkably, and automatically, take an implied refuge in the optimistic view that English capitalism had, through industrialisation and an agricultural revolution, achieved a ‘maturity’ enabling the country to escape incarceration in a‘pre-industrial’ vicious circle, turning on a fragile agrarian-based econo mic environment. This book reverts Malthus in a thoroughly English context.It proves that famine could, and did, occur in England during the classic period of the Industrial Revolution. The key economic determinant proved tobe the ideologically-inspired war, orchestrated by the Prime Minister, the younger Pitt, against the French and their attempted export of revolutiona ry principles at bayonet point, to the rest of Europe. This international context, in part, conditioned the recurrent development of famine conditionsin England in 1794-6 and again in 1799-1801. Here the multiple ramificatio ns of famine in this country, as it lurched from crisis to crisis in wartime, are explored in considerable depth. These were repeated crises of capitalism, juxtaposed with the autocratic and aristocratic state’s total commitment to war, which contrived to challenge not just the commitment to war, but both the equilibrium and the survival of the state itself. ‘WANT’ stalkedthe land; intense rioting periodically erupted; radical politicisation, no tably of unenfranchised working people, proceeded apace, in part stimulatedby the catastrophic events projected on the world stage by the process of the French Revolution. The book finally explains how such an oligarchic, unrepresentative government managed through determined economic interventionism, manipulation of the unique English social security system, and final resort to army rule, to preserve itself and the political structure during a key epoch within the Age of Revolutions." (from the dj). Contents : Part One : Famine in Wartime 1793-1801. 1. Introduction: ‘to shake the Foundationsof the Government of Great Britain’. 2. The Sociology and Economics of Foo d: Bread, Cheese, Butter, Meat and Potatoes: the ‘5 principel Things that poor Pepel want to bye’. 3. Harvests and Markets in Wartime, 1794-1801: ‘called Famine in any other Country than this’. 4. ‘Many an honest man doeth not know how to get one Week or Day over’: the Reaility of Famine in Wartime.Part Two : Famine and the People. 5. ‘Extreme Avarice and Rapaciousness’: Contemporary Analysis and Popular Prejudices. 6. ‘A more honourable Death than to be starv’d alive’: Taxation Populaire and the ‘Early Phases’ of the Famines. 7. ‘Taking Bread out of our Mouths’: the Crowd, Food Transportation, and the Midsummer Hypercrisis of 1795. 8. ‘Glorious tho’ Awfull Weeks’: the Hypercrisis of September 1800. 9. ‘Promoting General Confusion’: Popular Political Radicalism and Protest. 10. Conclusion: Famine, the Defences ofthe Poor and the Threat to Public Order. Part Three : Government and Famin e. 11. Intervention versus Free Trade: Securing Imports in Wartime 1794-1801. 12. Dietary Expedients and Vested Interests: Recommendation versus Compulsion, June 1795 to July 1800. 13. ‘Brown George’: Compulsion versus VestedInterests, Sepetember 1800 to July 1801. 14. Public Relations: the State, and Society, and Famine. Part Four : Social Control and Famine. 15. Riot Control and the Repressive Agencies: The Role of Government. 16. The Role of the Courts. 17. ‘I Cannot work through this Time of Necessity without your Assistance’: the Relief of the Working Class. 18. Paradoxes, Ironies and Contradictions: some Conclusions. Very good in unclipped dustjacket. 40.00

Title: Wretched Faces : Famine in Wartime England 1793-1801. First Edition in dustjacket

Author Name: WELLS, Roger

Categories: 888,

Publisher: Alan Sutton / St. Martin's Press, Gloucester / New York, 1988, ISBN:0862993334:

Seller ID: 115506