A comparative analysis of the relations of lord and peasant in early modern Europe and the events leading eventually to emancipation of the serfs, first in Savoy in 1771 and lastly in Romania in 1864. Wonderfully detailed and discriminating in describing different arrangements and outcomes in the multiple states and regions within them. An antidote to any inclination to romanticize pre-modern rural life. It’s also instructive on the deep conservatism of peasant societies, and the extreme rarity of true “improving” (reforming) noble landowners over the centuries. Reminds one of the truth of Gene Logdson’s statement that progress in agriculture has come more from the “garden” than from routines in the countryside.
Chip Planck firstname.lastname@example.org