9780198203827

Old Age in English History Past Experiences, Present Issues

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780198203827

  • ISBN10:

    0198203829

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-06-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

People are now living well into their seventies, eighties, and even beyond. A tribute to medicine, the trend is also a challenge for governments as the costs of healthcare and retirement continue to grow. But is this really a new trend? And is it a serious problem? This history of old age in England challenges many contemporary assumptions about aging and its role in culture. Tracing the experiences of older people back two thousand years, it shows that in fact there were large numbers of vigorous older people in many periods and that they often made important contributions to their families, friends, and society at large. After discussion of the modern experience of old age, when mass retirement has become the norm, the book argues that we can continue to expect the benefits of an aging society to far outweigh the costs.

Author Biography

Pat Thane is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Sussex.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
xi
List of Tables
xi
Introduction 1(16)
Old Age in Pre-Modern England 17(144)
Did People in the Past Grow Old?
19(12)
Representations
29(2)
Representations of Old Age in Ancient Greece and Rome
31(13)
Medieval Images of Old Age
44(11)
Old Age in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
55(18)
Experiences
71(2)
Independent Old People: Making a Living in Medieval England
73(16)
The Aged Landless Poor: Work and Welfare in Medieval and Early Modern England
89(30)
Old People and their Families
119(28)
`Lives of Expedients': Old People and the Old Poor Law
147(14)
Old Age in Modern England 161(312)
Inventing the Old-Age Pensioner
163(2)
The New Poor Law and the Aged Poor
165(29)
The Campaign for Old-Age Pensions
194(22)
`The First Piece of Socialism Britain has Entered upon'? The Introduction of Old-Age Pensions
216(20)
Pensions for the Middle Classes: The Growth of Occupational Pensions
236(23)
Living Longer in a Changing World, the 1830s to 1930s
257(2)
`An Unfailing Zest for Life': Images and Self-Images of Older People in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
259(14)
Work and Retirement, the 1830s to 1930s
273(14)
`Kinship Does not Stop at the Front Door': Old People and their Families, the 1830s to 1930s
287(21)
Pensions and Pensioners in War and Depression
308(25)
The `Menace' of an Ageing Population, the 1920s to 1950s
333(22)
`I Don't Feel Old': The Reinvention of Old Age in the Welfare State
353(2)
`A Remarkable Discovery of Secret Need': Pensioners in the 1940s
355(9)
Pensions: From Beveridge to the Millennium
364(21)
`Shocked into Idleness': The Emergence of Mass Retirement
385(22)
The Family Lives of Old People
407(29)
Inventing Geriatric Medicine
436(22)
`You're as Old as you Feel': Images and Self-Images of Older People at the End of the Millennium
458(15)
Conclusion 473(21)
`Into the Twenty-First Century': An Ageing Society--Burden or Benefit?
475(19)
Bibliography 494(23)
Index 517

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