In recent years, much attention has been given to using the history of material culture to trace profound changes in economic, social and cultural conditions. A lot of this research is based on the availability of large numbers of probate inventories in western archives, their comparability, and the growing means of exploring them with the assistance of computers.
To get an idea about developments in the countryside of Holland, a leading economic region in early modern Europe, the area known as the Krimpenerwaard was chosen. This region lies between the cities of Rotterdam, Gouda and Schoonhoven, and is bordered by the rivers Lek and Hollandse IJssel. As well as milk and dairy products, salmon fishing and brick making were important activities too. A selection of probate inventories (1630-1670 and 1700-1795), representative of farmers, middle-classes and notables of different wealth-classes showed a striking increase in the average number of different objects possessed by households until the middle of the eighteenth century.
It became clear that farmers consistently owned fewer goods than the middle-classes, even when their wealth was comparable. This did not mean that farmers completely lacked innovation; They took to drinking tea and coffee, for example. However, apart from these exotic introductions, most changes can be characterized as a growing concern for domesticity (decoration of the house, heating and lighting, cleaning, storing and other home comforts.
Published as doctoral thesis, Agricultural University Wageningen (ISBN 90-5808-014-5); by Verloren Publishers Hilversum (ISBN 90-6550-062-6); and as A.A.G. Bijdragen 39 (ISSN 0511-0726); 404 pages, 150 tables, 18 figures, 2 maps, 21 photo's, 6 appendices, 414 references and an English summary.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||28 Jun 1999|
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
- cultural history