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Description - A History of Drink and the English, 1500-2000 by Paul Jennings

A 2017 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award winner

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This book is an introduction to the history of alcoholic drink in England from the end of the Middle Ages to the present day. Treating the subject thematically, it covers who drank, what they drank, how much, who produced and sold drink, the places where it was enjoyed and the meanings which drinking had for people. It also looks at the varied opposition to drinking and the ways in which it has been regulated and policed.

As a social and cultural history, it examines the place of drink in society and how social developments have affected its history and what it meant to individuals and groups as a cultural practice. Covering an extended period in time, this book takes in the important changes brought about by the Reformation and the processes of industrialization and urbanization. This volume also focuses on drink in relation to class and gender and the importance of global developments, along with the significance of regional and local difference. Whilst a work of history, it draws upon the insights of a range of other disciplines which have together advanced our understanding of alcohol. The focus is England, but it acknowledges the importance of comparison with the experience of other countries in furthering our understanding of England's particular experience.

This book argues for the centrality of drink in English society throughout the period under consideration, whilst emphasizing the ways in which its use, abuse and how they have been experienced and perceived have changed at different historical moments. It is the first scholarly work which covers the history of drink in England in all its aspects over such an extended period of time. Written in a lively and approachable style, this book is suitable for those who study social and cultural history, as well as those with an interest in the history of drink in England.

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