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Roadworks : Medieval Britain, Medieval Roads (Hardcover)
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Roadworks: medieval roads, medieval Britain is a groundbreaking, interdisciplinary study of roads and wayfinding in medieval England, Wales, and Scotland. It looks afresh at the relationship between the road as a material condition of daily life and the formation of local and national communities. Its examination of the building and maintenance of infrastructure challenges the long-held picture of a medieval England lacking in technological sophistication, passively inheriting Roman roads and never engineering any of its own, contenting itself instead with dirt tracks and poor-quality paving. At the theoretical level, Roadworks argues that the business of road maintenance, road travel, and wayfinding, far from simply reflecting social relations actually constitutes those very associations and bonds we call social. The contributors have been carefully chosen to provide a comprehensive and diverse range of topics and chronology. Roadworks balances theoretical consideration with historical and archaeological data to create a truly interdisciplinary study that is also strongly coherent. To date, recent studies of medieval infrastructure have been tended to be discipline-specific and often technical. This collection is accessible and brings the close reading skills of literary study to draw out the imaginative, symbolic, and cultural significance of the road. The key audience for this book is scholars of medieval England (early and late) in all disciplines, both lecturers and postgraduate students. It is not a student survey or textbook. Its theoretical foundations will also ensure an audience among scholars of cultural studies, especially those in urban studies, transport studies, and economic history.