Excerpt from Readings in English Social History From Contemporary Literature, Vol. 5 It is a truism that every great political upheaval is followed by a keener and livelier interest on the part of statesmen and the people generally in the social and industrial questions that, ph nix-like, arise and demand settlement. The upheaval caused by the war has focussed the attention of the country upon the necessity for improving the social conditions of the people; and for many years to come legislation in the main will have to deal with the betterment of the conditions of life in its broadest and fullest aspect. A glimpse at the social conditions of the inhabitants of this country in the past will be a help towards the better understanding of what has gone to make this little world... set in the silver sea the cradle of a race of shopkeepers (as Napoleon dubbed us), and warriors, as we have proved ourselves to be. In these little volumes the editor has endeavoured to select from contemporary writers pen-pictures of the country and its inhabitants throughout the centuries: their mode of life; their food and clothing; their games and recreations; their feastings and their burials; their methods of fighting on land and sea; their laws and customs; their education; their instinct for trade; their pageants and their music; their joys and their sorrows; in fact, all that goes to make what we call life. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.