This pioneering survey evaluates the notions of class and order throughout European history since 1500. After a general theoretical section on the concept of orders and class, the book provides discussions and case studies of the nobility, the clergy, the middle classes and the rural and urban proletariat. The studies are drawn from all over Europe, from early modern Castile to late Tsarist Russia. Contributors include Peter Burke, Stuart Woolf, A A Thompson and Joseph Bergin.

chapter 2|13 pages

The concept of class

chapter 3|21 pages

An anatomy of nobility

chapter 6|28 pages

The middle classes in late Tsarist Russia

chapter 10|14 pages

Order, class and the urban poor

chapter 12|12 pages

Myths of order and ordering myths

chapter 13|20 pages

Class and historical explanation