Bob Bushaway – By RiteCustom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880
206pp / 191x235mm / paperback
Political philosophers (such as Gramsci) and social historians (such as E. P. Thompson) have suggested that rural customs and ceremonies have much more to them than the picturesqueness which has attracted traditional folklorists. They can be seen to have a purpose in the structures of rural society. But no historian has really pursued this idea for the English folk materials of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: the period from which most evidence survives.
Bringing together a wealth of research, this book explores the view that such rural folk practices were a mechanism of social cohesion, and social disruption. Through them the interdependence of the rural working-class and the gentry was affirmed, and infringements of the rights of the poor resisted, sometimes aggressively.
represents the results of detailed research in a wide range of sources, including the local Press, Antiquarian and Field Studies papers, county journals, local collections and archives throughout England and Wales.