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Originally published in 1990, this is an in-depth study of Cuenca, a hilltop town on the Castilian Meseta, from the middle of the 16th to the end of the 19th centuries. Dr Reher analyses its socio-economic structures in the context of the urbanisation of rural Spain, and shows how the history of the town is paradigmatic of the social, economic and demographic changes in urban areas of the Mediterranean basin. Based on many hitherto unpublished Spanish sources, this book was the first of its kind to come from the Iberian Peninsula. It aims to be relevant to any scholar interested in the general experience of urban development and relations with the countryside in early modern Europe. Specialists in social, economic and demographic history, historians of Spain and historical geographers will be interested in this book.