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In this pioneering study Vivienne Richmond reveals the importance of dress to the nineteenth-century English poor, who valued clothing not only for its practical utility, but also as a central element in the creation and assertion of collective and individual identities. During this period of rapid industrialisation and urbanisation formal dress codes, corporate and institutional uniforms and the spread of urban fashions replaced the informal dress of agricultural England. This laid the foundations of modern popular dress and generated fears about the visual blurring of social boundaries as new modes of manufacturing and retailing expanded the wardrobes of the majority. But a significant impoverished minority remained outside this process. Clothed by diminishing parish assistance, expanding paternalistic charity and the second-hand trade, they formed a 'sartorial underclass' whose material deprivation and visual distinction was a cause of physical discomfort and psychological trauma.
The most comprehensive social history of Victorian England to date.
In the context of this rapidly changing world, Rachel Worth explores the ways in which the clothing of the rural working classes was represented visually in paintings and photographs and by the literary sources of documentary, autobiography and fiction, as well as by the particular pattern of survival and collection by museums of garments of rural provenance. Rachel Worth explores ways in which clothing and how it is represented throws light on wider social and cultural aspects of society, as well as how 'traditional' styles of dress, like men's smock-frocks or women's sun-bonnets, came to be replaced by 'fashion'. Her compelling study, with black & white and colour illustrations, both adds a broader dimension to the history of dress by considering it within the social and cultural context of its time and discusses how clothing enriches our understanding of the social history of the Victorian period.
Drawing upon a remarkable variety of documentary evidence, this study argues that much of Britain's consumer culture and modern business practices was influenced by the ready-to-wear market in boys' clothes. Through a detailed visual and statistical analysis of these sources, linking the design and retailing of boys' clothing with social, cultural and economic issues, it shows that an understanding of the production and consumption of the boys clothing is central to debates on the growth of the consumer society, the development of mass-market fashion, and concepts of childhood and masculinity.
Explores the bustling world of Victorian shops and shopping, and the growing consumerism that bloomed during these times.
First published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
The consequences of extreme poverty were a grim reality for all too many people in Victorian England. The various poor laws implemented to try to deal with it contained a number of controversial measures, one of the most radical and unpopular being the crusade against outdoor relief, during which central government sought to halt all welfare payments at home. Via a close case study of Brixworth union in Northamptonshire, which offers an unusually rich corpus of primary material and evidence, the author looks at what happened to those impoverished men and women who struggled to live independently in a world-without-welfare outside the workhouse. She retraces the experiences of elderly paupers evicted from almshouses, of the children of the aged poor prosecuted for parental maintenance, of dying paupers who were refused medical care in their homes, and of women begging for funeral costs in as attempt to prevent the bodies of their loved ones being taken for dissection by anatomists. She then shows how increasing democratisation gave the labouring poor the means to win control of the poor law. ELIZABETH T. HURREN is Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine, Oxford Brookes University, Centre for Health, Medicine and Society, Past and Present.
Presents a history of public welfare in the United States, from its roots in the colonial era through the beginning of the twenty-first century, discussing such topics as the War on Poverty and the end of welfare entitlement.
It has long been suggested that poverty was responsible for a criminal underclass emerging in Britain during the nineteenth century. Until quite recently, historians did little to challenge this perception. Using innovative quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques, this book looks in detail at some of the causal factors that motivated the poorer classes to commit crime, or act in ways that transgressed acceptable standards of behaviour. It demonstrates how the strategies that these individuals employed varied between urban and rural environments, and shows how the poor railed against legislative reforms that threatened the solvency of their households. In the process, this book provides the first solid appreciation of the complex relationship between crime and poverty in two distinct socio-economic regions between 1830 and 1885.
The 'bonds of matrimony' describes with cruel precision the social and political status of married women in the nineteenth century. Women of all classes had only the most limited rights of possession in their own bodies and property yet, as this remarkable book shows, women of all classes found room to manoeuvre within the narrow limits imposed on them. Upper-class women frequently circumvented the onerous limitations of the law, while middle-class women sought through reform to change their legal status. For working-class women, such legal changes were irrelevant, but they too found ways to ameliorate their position. Joan Perkin demonstrates clearly in this outstanding book, full of human insights, that women were not content to remain inferior or subservient to men.
Drawing on a longitudinal study of the lives of NEET young people, this book looks beyond dominant discourses on youth unemployment to provide a rich, detailed account of young people's experiences of participation and non-participation on the margins of education and employment, highlighting the policy implications of this research.
Discusses the various roles of women in Victorian England, influences by the Industrial Revolution and society dominated by the middle class.
Other questions of both general and critical interest, such as vestimentary display in its guise as exhibitionary colonialist language are also raised."--Jacket.
Publisher Description
First Published in 2005. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
In nineteenth-century England poverty was more hideous and widespread than ever before. Broadside ballads told the tale aloud in part-issue on English streets. Here for the first time is a systematic study and anthology of what they said.
Rosy Aindow's interdisciplinary study maps the literary response to the emergence of a modern fashion industry in late nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Britain. The study argues dress is given a distinctive voice in novels of the period; works that embrace older sartorial tropes, but which simultaneously shape and formulate their own reflecting contemporary social concerns.

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