Small town development and urban illiteracy: comparative evidence from Leicestershire marriage registers 1754-1890

2015-10-01T09:32:20Z (GMT) by Michael Hoyler
"Based on the analysis of Anglican marriage registers for the period 1754 to 1890, the article explores patterns of illiteracy in three small Leicestershire [England] towns with contrasting economic functions. Illiteracy levels were closely related to urban occupational and social structures, which also affected distinct gender differentials. Evidence [of] the effect of literacy on age at marriage and marriage distance suggests that demographic behaviour and spatial interaction were determined more by socio-economic factors than by the possession of literacy skills. Literacy attainment, however, was linked to extended marriage distances when both spouses could sign the register." [excerpt]