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During the reign of Queen Victoria, industrialisation changed every aspect of rural life. Industrial diversification led to a decline in agriculture and mass migration from country to town and city – in 1851 half the population lived in the countryside, but by 1901 only a quarter did so. This book outlines the changes and why they occurred. It paints a picture of country life as it was when Victoria came to the throne and shows how a recognisably modern version of the British countryside had established itself by the end of her reign. Cheap food from overseas meant that Britain was no longer self-sufficient but it freed up money to be spent on other goods: village industries and handcrafts were undercut by the new industrial technology that brought about mass production, and markets were replaced by shops that grew into department stores.
The English country house reached its apotheosis in the nineteenth century. Designed by the most eminent architects of the age, the houses were bigger, more elaborate and more lavishly furnished than ever before, becoming a byword throughout the world for luxury, technological innovation and convenience of plan. Michael Hall’s new survey draws on the Country Life archive to present the most complete visual record yet published of the Victorian country house. Chronologically arranged to span the decades from the 1830s to the 1890s, the houses range from the High Gothic of Tyntesfield to Ferdinand Rothschild’s flamboyantly French Waddesdon Manor and Philip Webb’s Arts and Crafts interiors at Standen. Victorian houses have suffered more from sales and demolitions than houses from any other period. The Country Life images are the only record of great houses such as Wrest Park, Thoresby Hall and Hewell Grange in their heyday. Houses that have survived with their interiors intact but are little known to the public are also featured, such as Flintham Hall and the Earl of Harrowby’s Sandon Hall. Here, too, are spectacular colour photographs of some of the most celebrated houses of the period, from A. W. N. Pugin’s Scarisbrick Hall to J. D. Crace’s astonishing interiors at Longleat. With over 150 superb photographs and a commentary by one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, this book provides an excellent overview of a major period in British architectural history. Michael Hall is an architectural historian and the Editor of Apollo magazine. A former Architectural Editor and Deputy Editor of Country Life, he is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a trustee of Emery Walker’s Arts and Crafts house and Chairman of the Victorian Society’s activities committee. His books include The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life, also published by Aurum.
The most comprehensive social history of Victorian England to date.
First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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.

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