This wide-ranging book, first published in 1994, traces the development of popular culture in England from the Iron Age, when it first becomes apparent as a whole, to the eighteenth century. The concept of popular culture is here taken to be the body of ideas which is held by a people about itself and its environment, both physical and social, together with the tools and artefacts through which its members related to one another and to the outside world; it follows therefore that the general theme of the book is peoples' attitude to, and use of, their environment. After a short discussion of the Prehistoric and Roman cultures the book deals in depth with the essential foundations - shelter and housing, warmth and security, furnishings and domestic convenience, food and its preparation, and ultra-familial and ultra-communal relations. A separate chapter is devoted to the culture of towns. The text is illustrated throughout by objects, artefacts and structures, many of which are visual representations of earlier cultures.
Introduction; 1. The view from Danebury; 2. Roman interlude; 3. House and household; 4. Heat, light and insecurity; 5. The house furnished; 6. Food, its production, preservation and preparation; 7. In sickness and in death; 8. The community of parish and village; 9. The family; 10. The culture of cities; 11. The foundations of popular culture; 12. Conclusion: the end of popular culture; Notes; Index.