The recent surge of interest in the political, ecclesiastical, social and economic history of north-eastern England is reflected in the essays in this volume. The topics covered range widely, including the development of both rural and urban life and institutions. There are contributions on the well-known richness of Durham cathedral muniments, its priory and bishopric, and there is also a particular focus on the institutions and practices which evolved to deal with Scottish border problems. A number of papers broach lesser-known subjects which accordingly offer new territory for exploration, among them the distinctive characteristics of local jurisdiction in the northern counties, the formation of north-eastern landscapes, the course of agrarian development in the region and the emergence of a northern gentry class alongside the better known ecclesiastical and lay magnates. CHRISTIAN D. LIDDY is Lecturer in History at the University of Durham, where R.H. BRITNELL is Emeritus Professor.
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