Daily Life in Victorian England

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996 - 311 pages

Drawing on a wealth of sources, this volume brings England's Victorian era to life. Teachers, students, and interested readers can use this resource to examine Victorian life in a multitude of settings, from idyllic country estates to urban slums. Organized for easy reference, the volume provides information about the physical, social, economic, and legal details of daily life in Victorian England. Over sixty illustrations plus excerpts from primary sources enliven the work, which can be used in both the classroom and library to answer questions concerning laws, money, social class, values, morality, and private life.

Chapters in the work cover: traditional ways of life in town and country, social class, money, work, crime and punishment, the laws of daily life (marriage, divorce, inheritance, guardians, and bankruptcy), the development of a modern urban world (with railways, electricity, plumbing, and telephones), houses, food, clothing, shopping, the rituals of courtship and funerals, family and social life, education, health and medical care, leisure and pleasure, the importance of religion, and the impact of the Raj and the Empire. Historical contexts are explained and emphasis is placed on groups often invisible in traditional history: children, women both at work and at home, and people who led respectable, ordinary lives. A chronology, glossary, bibliography, and index complete the work. This valuable resource provides students, teachers, and librarians with all the information they need to recreate life in Victorian England.

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User Review  - jen.e.moore - LibraryThing

This is quite possibly the best book I've picked up yet in the quest for research for multiple historical fiction and steampunk stories. Mitchell integrates women's history well, and always makes a ... Read full review

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User Review  - AlexV_was_taken - LibraryThing

Most of the books in the "Daily Life" series are excellent. Read full review


1 A Brief History of Victorian England
Class Traditionand Money
3 Working Life
4 Technology Science and the Urban World
Government and the Law
House Food and Clothes
7 Family and Social Rituals
8 Education
Holidays Sports and Recreation
Religion and Reform
12 Victorian Morality
13 England and Empire
For Further Reading

9 Health and Medicine

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Page 88 - Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.
Page 273 - ... does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks of himself except when compelled, never defends himself by a mere retort; he has no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him, and interprets everything for the best. He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments, or insinuates evil which he dare not say out.
Page 21 - The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, God made them, high or lowly, And ordered their estate.
Page 269 - The man's power is active, progressive, defensive. He is eminently the doer, the creator, the discoverer, the defender. His intellect is for speculation and invention; his energy for adventure, for war and for conquest, wherever war is just, wherever conquest necessary.
Page 221 - Play up! play up! and play the game!' The sand of the desert is sodden red, Red with the wreck of a square that broke; The Catling's* jammed and the Colonel dead, And the regiment blind with dust and smoke. The river of death has brimmed his banks. And England's far, and Honour a name. But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks: 'Play up! play up! and play the game!
Page 269 - But he guards the woman from all this ; within his house, as ruled by her, unless she herself has sought it, need enter no danger, no temptation, no cause of error or offence.
Page 88 - It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and i..

About the author (1996)

SALLY MITCHELL is Professor of English and Women's Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. Dr. Mitchell did her doctoral work at Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar. In addition to editing Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia, she has written several scholarly books on Victorian literature and culture, has read hundreds of popular Victorian novels, magazines, schoolbooks, and advice manuals, and has served on the Modern Language Association Division Executive Committee for the Victorian Period.

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