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Key Texts

  • Martin Hewitt, 'Class and the Classes' in Chris Williams (ed.), A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Britain  
  • Richard Trainor, 'The Middle Class' in Martin Daunton (ed.), The Cambridge Urban History of Britain 
  • J Foster, ‘Nineteenth-century towns - a class dimension’ in Dyos (ed.), The Study of Urban History 
  • D Gadian, ‘Class consciousness in Oldham and other north-west industrial towns’ in Morris and Rodger, Historical Journal, 1978
  • R. A. Sykes, 'Some aspects of working-class consciousness in Oldham, 1830-1842', Historical Journal, 1980
  • M. S. Hickox, 'The English Middle-Class Debate', British Journal of Sociology, 1995

Seminar Questions

  • Is a study of class important to understand the Victorian City?
  • Were Victorian cities an expression of class conflict and a site of class struggle?
  • Did the urban middle class develop an ideology of their own?
  • How important were gender ideologies in the development of class identities?
  • How were class identities represented in the fabric of the city? (Use Bradford case studies)

further reading

P Atkins, ‘The spatial configuration of class solidarity in London's west end 1792-1939’, Urban History Yearbook, 17 (1990)

Joanna Bourke, Working class cultures in Britain

Anna Clark, The Struggle for the Breeches

G Crossick, An Artisan Elite in Victorian Society: Kentish London, 1840-1880

L Davidoff and C Hall, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 

J Foster, Class Struggle and the Industrial Revolution

D Feldman and G Stedman Jones. (eds), Metropolis London: Histories and Representations since 1800

R Gray, The Labour Aristocracy in Victorian Edinburgh

C Hall, ‘Private persons versus public someones: class, gender and politics 1780-1850’ in C. Steedman, Language, Gender and Childhood

C Hall, ‘The Early Formation of Victorian Domestic Ideology’ in S. Burman, Fit Work for Women

P Joyce, Visions of the People: Industrial England and the Question of Class 1848-1914

P Joyce, Class

P Joyce, 'A people and a class : industrial workers and the social order in nineteenth-century England', in Michael Bush, (ed.), Social orders and social classes in Europe since 1500 : studies in social stratification

A Kidd, ‘The Middle class in 19th century Manchester’ in Kidd and Roberts, City, Class and Culture

R McKibbin, Ideologies of Class

G Stedman Jones, Outcast London: a Study in the Relationship Between Classes in Victorian Society

N Kirk, Change, continuity and class: Labour in British society, 1850-1920

T Koditschek, Class formation and Urban-industrial Society: Bradford, 1750-1850

Lyn Hollen Lees, ‘The study of social conflict in English industrial towns', Urban History Yearbook (1980)

R Morris, (ed.) Class, Power and Social Structure in British Nineteenth-Century Towns

Stana Nenadic, 'Businessmen, the urban middle classes and the dominance of manufacturers in nineteenth century Britain', Economic History Review, 1991

A J Reid, Social Classes and Social Relations in Britain, 1850-1914

W Rubinstein, ‘The Victorian middle classes: wealth, occupation and geography', Economic History Review, 35 (1982)

D Smith, Conflict and Compromise: Class Formation in English Society, 1830-1914: a Comparative Study of Birmingham and Sheffield

R Swift and S Gilley (eds) The Irish in the Victorian City 

R Swift, ‘The outcast Irish in the British Victorian city: problems and perspectives’, Irish Historical Studies (1987)

P. Thane 'Aristocracy and middle class in Victorian England', in A. Birke & L. Kettenacker (eds), Middle Classes, Aristocracy and Monarchy

J Tosh, A Man’s Place

F M L Thompson, The rise of respectable society

F M L Thompson, ‘Social control in Victorian Britain’, Economic History Review, 34 (1981)

R Trainor, ‘Urban Elites in Victorian Britain’, Urban History Yearbook, (1985)

M J Wiener, English culture and the decline of the industrial spirit

J Wolff and J. Seed (eds), The Culture of Capital: Art, Power and the Nineteenth-century Middle Class