The Family Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800: 1500-1800 by Lawrence Stone (Paperback, 1990)

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During the period 1500-1800, there were massive changes in world social and cultural systems, and the family unit as we recognize it today came into being. The emphasis on the individual, the right to personal freedoms and the desire for privacy developed during this period and were symptomatic of world wide shifts in attitude that also affected religion and politics. This text is a study of the evolution of the family, from the impersonal, economically-bonded and precarious extended family-group of the 16th century to the smaller, affectively-bonded nuclear unit that had appeared by the end of the 18th century, and shows how this process radically influenced child rearing, education contraception, sexual behaviour and marriage.
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