The dynamics of overseas commerce, the spectacular growth of certain port cities, and the intellectual excitement of Paris and London may make us forget how unchangeable, narrow, and provincial the lives of most Europeans were in the eighteenth century. To travel only a few miles into the hinterland of Bordeaux, Cadiz, Livorno, or Hamburg was to enter the Middle Ages. The wheat fields, the sharecropper’s cart, the parish church, the château on the hill, a two-room cottage-these were the signposts of a timeless, routine existence, worlds away from drawing rooms and bustling wharves.


Estate Agent Assistant Agent Tenant Farmer Rent Contract Parish Church 


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert
  • Elborg Forster

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