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Spufford, H.M.







Honor Spufford, born in Hartford, UK, in 1935. Ph.D. from the University of Leicester and Litt.D. from the University of Cambridge and D.U. honoris causa from the Open University, Milton Keynes. Emeritus Professor of Social and Local History at Roehampton University, London.

Guest of the Rector (1 April 2005 – 30 June 2005)


I was working on a book on The Clothing of the Common Sort with a co-author, and had to write my section, including the key chapter laying out the relevance of the subject, its importance and the methodology. I have had something of a breakthrough here and have found new economic information on social groups. The chapter is completed, and I hope the book will be published next year by the Oxford University Press.

I finished an article on “Hearths, Wood and Coal” to introduce a volume of papers published by the Council for British Archaeology emerging from a conference I helped organise as Director of the British Academy Hearth Tax Project last October.

These were the two main things I intended to do at NIAS. However, as Director of the British Hearth Tax Project, I also wrote a much longer article titled “The Little Ice Age and the Rise of the Brick Chimney” which I will send to Past and Present. This came about as an unplanned result of our visit to NIAS. It was not a subject I had thought of: but my eventual contact with Belgian and Dutch historians was so fruitful that it emerged from discussion with them. I am very pleased with it. This last article has been the specific contribution to my research made by NIAS. Here, I have been able to get through a vast amount of reading, and follow large numbers of references in a very short time. .