Richard Price here offers a sweeping interpretation of modern British history. He challenges the dominant assumption that the nineteenth century marked the beginning of modern Britain. British Society argues on the contrary that nineteenth-century British society was the extension of an earlier era whose main themes first appeared in the late seventeenth century and which continued to shape the social, economic and political history of the country until the end of the nineteenth century. This book casts light on the main themes of economic, political and social history, and offers alternative interpretations on questions and issues that are central to the history of modern Britain. It follows in the great tradition of works such as Briggs's Age of Improvement, and Perkin's Origins of Modern English Society, and will be of enormous interest to all students and scholars of the period.