Helen Salmon

Common Theft

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Review of 'The Village Labourer', JL Hammond and Barbara Hammond, Nonesuch £18

The Village Labourer, originally written in 1911, is about the dispossession and proletarianisation of the English peasantry. This process, called enclosure, is taught in schools as a story about the way agriculture was made more efficient. I was taught at school that, without enclosure, Malthus's prediction that England would run out of food for its growing population would have been realised.

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