Baker 2009

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Baker, David J. On Demand: Writing for the Market in Early Modern England. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.

"My purpose in On Demand is two-fold. I want to explain how demand operated on and in the thinking, as well as the feeling, of the early modern English over the long sixteenth century, and, at the turn of the twenty-first, to make “demand” available as a literary critical term of art.” (xvii)

population growth in 16th century

expansion of rural economy; incentive for farmers to produce more food and ship it to more expensive markets

encouragement of “projects” under Elizabeth and James that expanded domestic manufactures to include products usually imported (paper, perfumed gloves, daggers)

“boom in the entertainment and publishing sectors” (6) — over 50 million visits to London playhouses between 1560s ad 1642 (6-7)

expansion and wealth of London

"London did not emerge as a commercial dynamo in the nineteenth century. It was powering up as early as the sixteenth, if not well before. The early modern arts of marketing and merchandizing were not rudimentary. On the contrary, the retail trade was growing in both size and sophistication. Emulation of the social elite and subservience to the dictates of fashion helped propel the economy long before the nineteenth century (as a closer look at early modern sumptuary laws might have suggested). Pace Thirsk, England in this day was not a true “consumer society,” for reasons that we are about to discuss, but it was slowly becoming a consuming society." (11)
"The thirty years after 1550, says Muldrew, the thirty years during which Harrison's informants had grown old, “were the most intenselyconcentrated period of economic growth before the late eighteenth century, and the means by which this new demand was met had much more immediate and far reaching social effects than any change before industrialization." (11)