Book number: 93405 Product format: Hardback Author: AMANDA J. THOMAS

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Bibliophile price £7.50
Published price £25

Thomas explored why so many of the greatest thinkers were Nonconformists and the rise of the rejection of orthodox religion and the rise in literacy and role of women in spreading reading are the subjects of her book. She explores the evolution of dissenting thought and how Nonconformity shaped the transformation of England from a rural to an urban, industrialised society. The foundations for the Industrial Revolution were in place from the late Middle Ages when the early development of manufacturing processes and changes in the structure of rural communities began to provide opportunities for economic and social advancement. Successive waves of Huguenot migrants and the influence of Northern European religious ideology also played an important role in this process. The Civil Wars provided a catalyst for the dissemination of new ideas and helped shape the emergence of a new English Protestantism and divergent dissident sects. The persecution which followed strengthened the Nonconformist cause, and for the early Quakers it intensified their unity and resilience, qualities which would prove to be invaluable for business. In the years following the Restoration, Nonconformist ideas fuelled enlightened thought creating an environment for enterprise but also a desire for more radical change. Reformers seized on the plight of a working poor alienated by innovation and frustrated by false promises, the vision which was at first the spark for innovation would ignite revolution. B/w illus. 280 pages.

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ISBN 9781473875678

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