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This volume provides a lively and authoritative synthesis of recent work on the social history of France and is now thoroughly updated to cover the 'long nineteenth century' from 1789-1914. Peter McPhee offers both a readable narrative and a distinctive, coherent argument about this remarkable century and explores key themes such as: - peasant interaction with the environment - the changing experience of work and leisure - the nature of crime and protest - changing demographic patterns and family structures - the religious practices of workers and peasants - the ideology and internal repercussions of colonisation. At the core of this social history is the exercise and experience of 'social relations of power' - not only because in these years there were four periods of protracted upheaval, but also because the history of the workplace, of relations between women and men, adults and children, is all about human interaction. Stimulating and enjoyable to read, this indispensable introduction to nineteenth-century France will help readers to make sense of the often bewildering story of these years, while giving them a better understanding of what it meant to be an inhabitant of France during that turbulent time.