A. Harper, The English Navigation Laws (New York, 1939). Joan Thirsk’s Economic Policy and Projects: The Development of Consumer Society in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1978) is brilliant. A useful supplement is Carole Shammas’ The Preindustrial Consumer in England and America (New York, 1990).
The literature on the so-called industrial revolution is extremely extensive and continues to grow unabated. Much of it (especially books) is collected in British Economic and Social History: A Bibliographical Guide, compiled by W. H. Chaloner and R. C. Richardson (Manchester, 1976). Which
comes next is very selective; it is limited to a few classical general works and others chosen for their style or core ideas. Basic reference is the work of B. R. Mitchell in collaboration with Phyllis Deane, Abstract of British Historical Statistics (Cambridge, 1962), and B. R. Mitchell and H. G. Jones, Second Abstract of British Historical Statistics (Cambridge, 1971). The Atlas of Industrializing Britain, 1780-1914, edited by John Langton and R. J. Morris (London, 1986), is extremely helpful in getting an idea of the spatial aspect of industrialization. Something similar occurs with The Archeology of the Industrial Revolution, edited by Brian Bracegirdle (London, 1973), with abundant illustrations, which allows the student to visualize the technology of the beginning of industrialization. M. W. Flinn, British Population Growth, 1700-1850 (“Studies”, London, 1970), summarizes and briefly analyzes the essential information. The bibliography on proto-industrialization is summarized by Franklin Mendels in “Proto-Industrialization: Theory and Reality”, in Eighth Congress of International Economic History, Budapest 1982, “A” Themes, pp. 69-107. If the article is difficult to locate, try searching, also by Franklin Mendels, “Proto-Industrialization: The First Phase of the Industrialization Process,” Journal of Economic History, 32 (March, 1972): 241-261, in which gave the term explicit definition for the first time, later modified. See also Peter Kriedte et al., Industrialization before Industrialization (Cambridge, 1981). For a skeptical point of view, D. C. Coleman “Proto-Industrialization: A Concept Too Many”, Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 36 (August 1980): 435-448. A recent text with the insight and skill of cliometrics is The Economic History of Britain since 1700, edited by Roderick Floud and Donald. McCloskey (2nd ed., 3 vols., Cambridge, 1993). Another classic text is Peter Mathias, The First Industrial Nation: An Economic History of Britain, 1700-1914 (2nd ed., London, 1983), Part I. See also, by the same author, The Transformation of England (London, 1979), which focuses on the 19th century.