David Hey (1938–2016) was one of the leading local and regional historians of our age and the author of a number of highly regarded books on the practice of local history. His work on surnames was pioneering and he was amongst the first to identify the potential of DNA in historical studies.
In this collection of essays in David’s memory, friends and colleagues celebrate his commitment to the landscape, economy and society of south Yorkshire — especially Sheffield — and Derbyshire, which together make up ‘Hey country’, the area in which he grew up and to which he returned to work.
This lively volume will be of interest to anyone who shares David Hey’s curiosity for the people, economies and landscapes of the part of England he made his focus. At the same time the essays will prove to be of interest to all those concerned with the workings of English local society and economy. Covering a wide range of subjects and periods, they include accounts of the early English steel industry, Sheffield cutlers, Lord William Cavendish’s canny use of his stepson’s wardship, the lost woodlands of the Peak District, First World War food production in Derbyshire, south Yorkshire deer parks and a brief history of Little Londons. Fresh research into family and placename history contributes fascinating detail to the mix.
The contributors are some of the key researchers in academic local history: Melvyn Jones, Richard Hoyle, Peter Edwards, Dorian Gerhold, Ian D. Rotherham, John Beckett, Alan Crosby, Nicola Verdon, John Broad and George Redmonds. A tribute to David Hey by Charles Phythian-Adams opens the volume.
Richard Hoyle is Visiting Professor of Economic History at Reading, having previously been Professor of History at the University of Central Lancashire (1998–2000), Professor of Rural History at the University of Reading (2000–2014), and Professor of Local and Regional History at the University of London (2014–16). He served as editor of the Agricultural History Review for twenty-one years, to 2019.
ISBN 978-1-912260-40-9; Sep 2021; 218pp; Paperback
“David Hey was one of the most prolific and influential English local historians of the past half century, and this collection of essays is a worthy tribute from his friends and colleagues, with ten essays spanning the centuries from the thirteenth to the twentieth and embracing that range of disciplines that feed into good local family and community history.” Edward Royle, Family and Community History
“If there is a common thread running through these papers, apart of course from their association with David Hey, it is revisionism – which of course was a practice dear to David's heart. By taking a revisionist perspective, these authors challenge us to rethink our assumptions, and to apply them to our own areas with the diligence that these authors apply them to theirs.” William D. Shannon, The Local Historian
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