Gossage uses a family-reconstitution method, drawing on local parish registers and manuscript-census schedules, to focus on marriage, household organization, and family size in this context of social and economic change. Family formation was profoundly affected as couples adjusted to the new urban, industrial setting. Gossage demonstrates that demographic behaviour was increasingly differentiated by social class, with distinct marriage and fertility patterns emerging among bourgeois and proletarian families. Bourgeois women who married in the 1860s, for example, were already limiting family size, a crucial shift that did not occur in working-class families until almost a generation later.
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