The Rise of Respectable Society

A Social History of Victorian Britain, 1830-1900


Author: Francis Michael Longstreth Thompson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674772854

Category: History

Page: 382

View: 9266

One of England's grand masters of history provides a clear and persuasive interpretation of the creation of "respectable society" in Victorian Britain. Integrating a vast amount of research previously hidden in obscure or academic journals, he covers not only the economy, social structure, and patterns of authority, but also marriage and the family, childhood, homes and houses, work and play. By 1900 the structure of British society had become more orderly and well-defined than it had been in the 1830s and 1840s, but the result, Thompson shows, was fragmentation into a multiplicity of sections or classes with differing standards and notions of respectability. Each group operated its own social controls, based on what it considered acceptable or unacceptable conduct. This "internalized and diversified" respectability was not the cohesive force its middle-class and evangelical proponents had envisioned. The Victorian experience thus bequeathed structural problems, identity problems, and authority problems to the twentieth century, with which Britain is grappling.

The Rise of Respectable Society

A Social History of Victorian Britain


Author: Francis Michael Longstreth Thompson

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007291523

Category: Gentry

Page: 382

View: 6423

'The Rise of Respectable Society' offers a new map of this territory as revealed by close empirical studies of marriage, the family, domestic life, work, leisure and entertainment in 19th century Britain.

Shopping for Pleasure

Women in the Making of London's West End


Author: Erika Diane Rappaport

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691044767

Category: Social Science

Page: 323

View: 8473

In Shopping for Pleasure, Erika Rappaport reconstructs London's Victorian and Edwardian West End as an entertainment and retail center. In this neighborhood of stately homes, royal palaces, and spacious parks and squares, a dramatic transformation unfolded that ultimately changed the meaning of femininity and the lives of women, shaping their experience of modernity. Rappaport illuminates the various forces of the period that encouraged and discouraged women's enjoyment of public life and particularly shows how shopping came to be seen as the quintessential leisure activity for middle- and upper-class women. Through extensive histories of department stores, women's magazines, clubs, teashops, restaurants, and the theater as interwoven sites of consumption, Shopping for Pleasure uncovers how a new female urban culture emerged before and after the turn of the twentieth century. Moving beyond the question of whether shopping promoted or limited women's freedom, the author draws on diverse sources to explore how business practices, legal decisions, and cultural changes affected women in the market. In particular, she focuses on how and why stores presented themselves as pleasurable, secure places for the urban woman, in some cases defining themselves as instrumental to civic improvement and women's emancipation. Rappaport also considers such influences as merchandizing strategies, credit policies, changes in public transportation, feminism, and the financial balance of power within the home. Shopping for Pleasure is thus both a social and cultural history of the West End, but on a broader scale it reveals the essential interplay between the rise of consumer society, the birth of modern femininity, and the making of contemporary London.

The Invention of Murder

How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime


Author: Judith Flanders

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250024889

Category: History

Page: 576

View: 6234

"Superb... Flanders's convincing and smart synthesis of the evolution of an official police force, fictional detectives, and real-life cause célèbres will appeal to devotees of true crime and detective fiction alike." -Publishers Weekly, starred review In this fascinating exploration of murder in nineteenth century England, Judith Flanders examines some of the most gripping cases that captivated the Victorians and gave rise to the first detective fiction Murder in the nineteenth century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous, with cold-blooded killings transformed into novels, broadsides, ballads, opera, and melodrama-even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts. Detective fiction and the new police force developed in parallel, each imitating the other-the founders of Scotland Yard gave rise to Dickens's Inspector Bucket, the first fictional police detective, who in turn influenced Sherlock Holmes and, ultimately, even P.D. James and Patricia Cornwell. In this meticulously researched and engrossing book, Judith Flanders retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder in Great Britain, both famous and obscure: from Greenacre, who transported his dismembered fiancée around town by omnibus, to Burke and Hare's bodysnatching business in Edinburgh; from the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, to the tragedy of the murdered Marr family in London's East End. Through these stories of murder-from the brutal to the pathetic-Flanders builds a rich and multi-faceted portrait of Victorian society in Great Britain. With an irresistible cast of swindlers, forgers, and poisoners, the mad, the bad and the utterly dangerous, The Invention of Murder is both a mesmerizing tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable.

Victorious Century

The United Kingdom, 1800-1906


Author: David Cannadine

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 052555789X

Category: History

Page: 624

View: 2796

Originally published in Great Britain in 2017 by Allen Lane.

The Way of All Flesh


Author: Samuel Butler

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486114554

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 6212

Hailed by George Bernard Shaw as "one of the summits of human achievement," this 1903 novel satirizes the hypocrisy underlying Victorian England's major institutions — family, church, and class structure.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Rabies in Britain, 1830-2000


Author: N. Pemberton,M. Worboys

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230589545

Category: Science

Page: 247

View: 6983

Rabies was a constant threat in Victorian Britain and gripped popular imagination, not least because its human form, hydrophobia, produced a vile death with the mind and body out of control. This book explores the changing understanding of rabies amongst veterinarians, animal welfare campaigners, state officials, politicians and the public.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew

From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England


Author: Daniel Pool

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 143914480X

Category: Education

Page: 416

View: 6059

A “delightful reader’s companion” (The New York Times) to the great nineteenth-century British novels of Austen, Dickens, Trollope, the Brontës, and more, this lively guide clarifies the sometimes bizarre maze of rules and customs that governed life in Victorian England. For anyone who has ever wondered whether a duke outranked an earl, when to yell “Tally Ho!” at a fox hunt, or how one landed in “debtor’s prison,” this book serves as an indispensable historical and literary resource. Author Daniel Pool provides countless intriguing details (did you know that the “plums” in Christmas plum pudding were actually raisins?) on the Church of England, sex, Parliament, dinner parties, country house visiting, and a host of other aspects of nineteenth-century English life—both “upstairs” and “downstairs. An illuminating glossary gives at a glance the meaning and significance of terms ranging from “ague” to “wainscoting,” the specifics of the currency system, and a lively host of other details and curiosities of the day.

The Strange Death of Moral Britain


Author: Christie Davies

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351473220

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 6531

In the last half of the twentieth century, a once respectable and religious Britain became a seriously violent and dishonest society, one in which person and property were at risk, family breakdown ubiquitous, and drug and alcohol abuse rising. "The Strange Death of Moral Britain" demonstrates in detail the roots of Britain's decline. It also shows how a society, strongly Protestant in both morality and identity, became one of the most secular societies in the world. The culture wars about abortion, capital punishment, and homosexuality that have convulsed the United States have little meaning in Britain, where there is neither a moral majority nor an indigenous emphasis on rights. In the period when Britain had a strong national and religious identity, defense of this identity led to legal persecution of male homosexuals. As Britain's identity crumbled, homosexuality ceased to be an important issue for most people. Similarly, all the pressing questions on abortion, capital punishment, and homosexuality were settled permanently on a purely utilitarian basis in Britain, where all sources of moral argument are weak. The ending of the death penalty marked the decline of the influence of the official hierarchies of church and state, the Church of England, the armed forces, and their representative, the Conservative Party. "The Strange Death of Moral Britain" is a study of moral change, secularization, loss of identity, and the growth of deviant behavior in Britain in the twentieth century. Based on detailed scholarship, it is a tightly argued and clearly written volume that will be of interest to scholars of religious studies and British social history.


The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres


Author: Ruth Brandon

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 0802779751

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 4416

Between the 1780s and the end of the nineteenth century, an army of sad women took up residence in other people's homes, part and yet not part of the family, not servants, yet not equals. To become a governess, observed Jane Austen in Emma, was to "retire from all the pleasures of life, of rational intercourse, equal society, peace and hope, to penance and mortification for ever." However, in an ironic paradox, the governess, so marginal to her society, was central to its fiction-partly because governessing was the fate of some exceptionally talented women who later wrote novels based on their experiences. But personal experience was only one source, and writers like Wilkie Collins, William Makepeace Thackeray, Henry James, and Jane Austen all recognized that the governess's solitary figure, adrift in the world, offered more novelistic scope than did the constrained and respectable wife. Ruth Brandon weaves literary and social history with details from the lives of actual governesses, drawn from their letters and journals, to craft a rare portrait of real women whose lives were in stark contrast to the romantic tales of their fictional counterparts. Governess will resonate with the many fans of Jane Austen and the Brontës, whose novels continue to inspire films and books, as well as fans of The Nanny Diaries and other books that explore the longstanding tension between mothers and the women they hire to raise their children.

The New Politics of Class

The Political Exclusion of the British Working Class


Author: Geoffrey Evans,James Tilley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191072419

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 7701

This book explores the new politics of class in 21st century Britain. It shows how the changing shape of the class structure since 1945 has led political parties to change, which has both reduced class voting and increased class non-voting. This argument is developed in three stages. The first is to show that there has been enormous social continuity in class divisions. The authors demonstrate this using extensive evidence on class and educational inequality, perceptions of inequality, identity and awareness, and political attitudes over more than fifty years. The second stage is to show that there has been enormous political change in response to changing class sizes. Party policies, politicians' rhetoric, and the social composition of political elites have radically altered. Parties offer similar policies, appeal less to specific classes, and are populated by people from more similar backgrounds. Simultaneously the mass media have stopped talking about the politics of class. The third stage is to show that these political changes have had three major consequences. First, as Labour and the Conservatives became more similar, class differences in party preferences disappeared. Second, new parties, most notably UKIP, have taken working class voters from the mainstream parties. Third, and most importantly, the lack of choice offered by the mainstream parties has led to a huge increase in class-based abstention from voting. Working class people have become much less likely to vote. In that sense, Britain appears to have followed the US down a path of working class political exclusion, ultimately undermining the representativeness of our democracy. They conclude with a discussion of the Brexit referendum and the role that working class alienation played in its historic outcome.

Madness and Civilization

A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason


Author: Michel Foucault

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307833100

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 1747

Michel Foucault examines the archeology of madness in the West from 1500 to 1800 - from the late Middle Ages, when insanity was still considered part of everyday life and fools and lunatics walked the streets freely, to the time when such people began to be considered a threat, asylums were first built, and walls were erected between the "insane" and the rest of humanity.

Steam-Powered Knowledge

William Chambers and the Business of Publishing, 1820-1860


Author: Aileen Fyfe

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226276511

Category: History

Page: 313

View: 536

With the overwhelming amount of new information that bombards us each day, it is perhaps difficult to imagine a time when the widespread availability of the printed word was a novelty. In early nineteenth-century Britain, print was not novel—Gutenberg’s printing press had been around for nearly four centuries—but printed matter was still a rare and relatively expensive luxury. All this changed, however, as publishers began employing new technologies to astounding effect, mass-producing instructive and educational books and magazines and revolutionizing how knowledge was disseminated to the general public. In Steam-Powered Knowledge, Aileen Fyfe explores the activities of William Chambers and the W. & R. Chambers publishing firm during its formative years, documenting for the first time how new technologies were integrated into existing business systems. Chambers was one of the first publishers to abandon traditional skills associated with hand printing, instead favoring the latest innovations in printing processes and machinery: machine-made paper, stereotyping, and, especially, printing machines driven by steam power. The mid-nineteenth century also witnessed dramatic advances in transportation, and Chambers used proliferating railway networks and steamship routes to speed up communication and distribution. As a result, his high-tech publishing firm became an exemplar of commercial success by 1850 and outlived all of its rivals in the business of cheap instructive print. Fyfe follows Chambers’s journey from small-time bookseller and self-trained hand-press printer to wealthy and successful publisher of popular educational books on both sides of the Atlantic, demonstrating along the way the profound effects of his and his fellow publishers’ willingness, or unwillingness, to incorporate these technological innovations into their businesses.

Macaulay and Son


Author: Catherine Hall

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300189184

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 384

View: 4367

Thomas Babington Macaulay's History of England was a phenomenal Victorian best-seller which shaped much more than the literary culture of the times: it defined a nation's sense of self, charting the rise of the British Isles to its triumph as a homogenous nation, a safeguard of the freedom of belief and expression, and a central world power. In this book Catherine Hall explores the emotional, intellectual, and political roots of Thomas Macaulay's vision of England, tracing the influence of his father's career as a colonial governor and drawing illuminating comparisons between the two men.

The Secret Poisoner

A Century of Murder


Author: Linda Stratmann

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300219547

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 3270

Murder by poison alarmed, enthralled, and in many ways encapsulated the Victorian age. Linda Stratmann’s dark and splendid social history reveals the nineteenth century as a gruesome battleground where poisoners went head-to-head with authorities who strove to detect poisons, control their availability, and bring the guilty to justice. She corrects many misconceptions about particular poisons and documents how the evolution of issues such as marital rights and the legal protection of children impacted poisonings. Combining archival research with a novelist’s eye, Stratmann charts the era’s inexorable rise of poison cases both shocking and sad.

Class in Britain


Author: David Cannadine

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141927801

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 1235

David Cannadine's unique history examines the British preoccupation with class and the different ways the British have thought about their own society. From the eighteenth through the twentieth century, he traces the different ways British society has been viewed, unveiling the different purposes each model has served. This is a social, intellectual and political history and a powerful account of how and why class has shaped British identity.

Madhouses, Mad-Doctors, and Madmen

The Social History of Psychiatry in the Victorian Era


Author: Andrew Scull

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 151280682X

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 7479

The Victorian Age saw the transformation of the madhouse into the asylum into the mental hospital; of the mad-doctor into the alienist into the psychiatrist; and of the madman (and madwoman) into the mental patient. In Andrew Scull's edited collection Madhouses, Mad-Doctors, and Madmen, contributors' essays offer a historical analysis of the issues that continue to plague the psychiatric profession today. Topics covered include the debate over the effectiveness of institutional or community treatment, the boundary between insanity and criminal responsibility, the implementation of commitment laws, and the differences in defining and treating mental illness based on the gender of the patient.

A Fiery & Furious People

A History of Violence in England


Author: James Sharpe

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446456137

Category: History

Page: 768

View: 3046

*Chosen as a Book of the Year by The Times, History Today and the Sunday Telegraph* ‘Wonderfully entertaining, comprehensive and astute.’ The Times ‘Genuinely hard to put down.’ BBC History Magazine From murder to duelling, highway robbery to mugging: the darker side of English life explored. Spanning some seven centuries, A Fiery & Furious People traces the subtle shifts that have taken place both in the nature of violence and in people’s attitudes to it. How could football be regarded at one moment as a raucous pastime that should be banned, and the next as a respectable sport that should be encouraged? When did the serial killer first make an appearance? What gave rise to particular types of violent criminal - medieval outlaws, Victorian garrotters – and what made them dwindle and then vanish? Above all, Professor James Sharpe hones in on a single, fascinating question: has the country that has experienced so much turmoil naturally prone to violence or are we, in fact, becoming a gentler nation? ‘Wonderful . . . A fascinating and rare example of a beautifully crafted scholarly work.’ Times Higher Education ‘Sweeping and ambitious . . . A humane and clear-eyed guide to a series of intractable and timely questions.’ Observer ‘Deeply researched, thoughtfully considered and vividly written . . . Read it.’ History Today ‘Magisterial . . . The outlaw’s song has surely never been better rendered.’ Times Literary Supplement

The Respectability of Late Victorian Workers

A Case Study of York, 1867-1914


Author: Charles Walter Masters

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443825301

Category: History

Page: 315

View: 3160

This study of the working classes of York in the late Victorian period places respectability at the heart of the interpretation of working-class culture, drawing attention to its distinctive role within working-class daily life while eschewing a class-based analysis. Through an investigation of workers’ actions, choice-making and personal testimony, and using a wide range of textual and non-textual sources, a picture is produced of what it meant to be respectable in working-class communities and respectability’s role in personal and community identity formation. Not only is the importance of gender-based notions of the male breadwinner and female homemaker explored, but fresh light is cast on how respectability was engaged with and negotiated in everyday contexts. Respectability is shown to be a dynamic and culturally creative process with workers building their identities within the confines of “structural” constraints, including street and neighbourhood based mores and institutions, but with a measure of self-generated cultural, social and organisational space. Far from respectability being a function of socio-economic differentiation, even the poorest are shown to have aspired to join self-help organisations and become worthy citizens. Crucially, “working-class respectability” is shown to have been moral and Christian in character—underpinned by a form of diffusive Christianity that was robust and vital rather than some kind of legacy cultural and religious phenomenon. Although different attributes of respectability could be prioritised within working-class circles, respectability is seen as a distinctive and essentially pan-class culture centred on a set of universal values which distinguished and defined the respectable citizen and separated him from imagined or real rough “Others.” This study will appeal to readers interested in social and cultural history, gender studies and material culture. York inhabitants are given their own voice through hitherto unpublished, as well as published, oral and written testimony. Worker and family attitudes are analysed in the everyday contexts of work, home, neighbourhood and leisure, and as part of the wide-ranging discussion, attention is paid to the cultural significance of what working people ate and wore, and what goods they bought to furnish their often very modest homes. The emphasis throughout is on a “grass-roots” analysis, showing clearly how and why respectability answered the needs and aspirations of most ordinary Victorian and Edwardian workers and their families.