Asa Briggs, The Age of Improvement, 1783 - 1867, 2eBack of jacket (paperback and hardback) He takes for granted that there is only one history of England and not a basic course of political and party history with a few side-dishes on social conditions, literature, the arts, etc. Eric Hobsbawm, New Statesman An excellent account of one major aspect of English history. It is in the mingling of political and social history so that each adds depth to the other that Professor Briggs s great strength and individuality are found...William Ashworth, Economic History Review The title alone is enough to recommend it. Catholic HeraldThe Age of Improvement was first published in hardback in 1959 as part of Longman s prestigious A History of England series before being reissued in paperback in 1979. This remarkable book has long established itself as a classic of modern historical writing. With sales now reaching almost 100,000 copies the book been very widely read and quoted and has had a unique influence on teaching and research. Now, a further twenty years on, the book has been thoroughly revised and updated throughout - it is sure to be welcomed by a new generation of readers.The Second Edition draws on the great volume of new research since the book first appeared - not least in the now flourishing field of Victorian Studies .
Lord Briggs has made his own substantial contribution to this new research, reflected in his prodigious list of publications covering local history, history from below , the history of cities, the history of food and drink, the history of health, and the history of things .Front flap of hardback and paperbackThe book stresses both the underlying unity and the rich variety of the age. In the background are the new economic powers based on the development of a coal and iron technology; in the foreground, new social and political problems and new ways of tackling them. The author also discusses perceptions of, and reactions to, changing circumstances, the influence of religion and science on national life, and changing styles in art and literature. The story ends, not with a full stop but with a question mark. Could improvement be maintained? Could balance and progress continue to be reconciled?The fundamental issues raised in the book relate to a period of crucial change in British history - industrialisation, war, constitutional change and the attitudes of politicians towards it, political development, and, not least, society and culture.The authorAsa Briggs (Lord Briggs of Lewes) has had a uniquely distinguished career in both academic and public life.
A Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, immediately after the war, he was appointed to the Chair of Modern History at the University of Leeds in 1955, moving on to become Professor of History at the newly founded University of Sussex in 1961. He was Vice Chancellor of Sussex from 1967 to 1976. He then returned to his earlier roots, becoming Provost of Worcester College, Oxford (1976-1991). He was also Chancellor of the Open University (1978-1994). In public life he has served on innumerable committees and commissions, and contributed to a vast range of projects and institutions in education, the media and the arts in Britain and Europe. He is President of the Social History Society and of the Victorian Society, and is a Fellow both of the British Academy and the American Academy. In 1991 he delivered the Ford Lectures in Oxford University on Culture and Communication in the Nineteenth Century.At the same time he has managed to produce an unrivalled body of historical writing (including a five-volume history of the BBC), covering an equal range of concerns - and all of it characterised by accessibility as well as scholarship.Back flap(275 years of publishing history logo - from Louise Corless)Asa Briggs is a long-term friend and associate of Longman.
He edited a volume of essays in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the business and has been working for many years in the Longman archives. It is appropriate that the Second Edition of The Age of Improvement should be published in the year when Longman is celebrating its 275th anniversary with this book as its centerpiece.The Silver Library celebrates the very best in history writing published by Longman. This selection of seminal and best-selling works by world renowned authorities will become the essential collection.Titles in the Silver Library are:John ToshThe Pursuit of History, Third EditionBernard W AndersonThe Living World of the Old Testament, Fourth EditionR H C DavisA History of Medieval Europe, Second EditionH G Koenigsberger, George L Mosse, G Q BowlerEurope in the Sixteenth Century, Second EditionBarry CowardThe Stuart Age 1603 - 1714, Second EditionH G KoenigsbergerEarly Modern Europe 1500 - 1789Asa BriggsThe Age of Improvement 1783 - 1867, Second EditionM S AndersonThe Ascendancy of Europe 1815 - 1914, Second EditionJames JollThe Origins of the First World War, Second EditionJ M RobertsEurope 1880 - 1945, Second EditionMartin KitchenEurope Between the WarsPeter CalvocoressiWorld Politics Since 1945, Seventh Edition