This fascinating and important book uses a wealth of contemporary sources to reconstruct the mental world of medieval farmers and, by doing so, argues that these key figures in the Middle Ages have been unfairly stereotyped. David Stone overturns the traditional view of medieval countrymen as economically backward and instead reveals that agricultural decision-making was as rational in the fouteenth century as in modern times. Investigating agricultural mentalities
first at a local level and then for England as a whole, Dr Stone argues that human action shaped the course of the rural economy to a much greater extent than has hitherto been appreciated, and
challenges the commonly held view that the medieval period was dominated by ecological and economic crises. Focusing in particular on responses to commercial forces and the adoption of agricultural technology, this book has significant implications for our understanding of agricultural development throughout the last thousand years.