The Complete Tradesman: A Study of Retailing, 1550–1820

1st Edition

Nancy Cox

Published August 26, 2016
Reference - 284 Pages
ISBN 9781138249950 - CAT# Y312928
Series: The History of Retailing and Consumption

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The Complete Tradesman redresses the relative paucity of studies on the history of retailing before 1800. Based upon extensive research into diverse trade sources, Cox takes issue with the surprisingly resilient stereotype of the 'dull' and 'out of date' shopkeeper in the early modern period, showing that the retailing sector was well adapted to the social and economic needs of the day and quick to exploit new opportunities. Chapters cover not only distribution, shop design, customer relations and networks between tradesmen, but also attitudes to retailing, official controls, and the response to novelty. By throwing light on subjects hitherto overlooked and challenging existing whiggish preoccupations with progress towards modern retailing systems, this study signals a new approach to the history of retailing. The focus is placed on assessing how far tradesmen, especially shopkeepers, satisfied and stimulated contemporary desires for consumer goods.


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