History 3620 Victorian Britain (Winter 2019)

This course explores themes in British social, political and cultural history in the nineteenth century. Topics may include working-class culture and politics, Victorian family life, urban life and poverty, crime and police, imperialism and popular culture, Irish Home Rule, the campaign for women’s votes, and the social and cultural ferment of pre-World War I Britain.

Course Instructor: 
List of Reserve Material: 

Victorian Family Life

10 Jan - John Tosh, "Domesticity and Manliness in the Victorian Middle Class" in Manful Assertions, ed., Michael Roper and John Tosh (London: Routledge, 1991) 


15 Jan - Dorothy Thompson, Queen Victoria: Gender and Power, ch 4 “Victoria and John Brown” (London: Virago Press, 2001) 

17 Jan - Tori Smith, “‘Almost Pathetic...But Also Very Glorious’: The Consumer Spectacle of the Diamond Jubilee” Histoire Sociale/Social History 29 (1996): 333-356


22 Jan - Susie Steinbach, “Ruling the World: Imperialism,” in Understanding the Victorians (London: Routledge, 2012), 59-70.

24 Jan - Kelly Boyd, “Exemplars and Ingrates: Imperialism and the Boys’ Story Paper, 1880-1930,” Historical Research, 67 (1994): 143-155

Disease & Degeneration

31 Jan - Pamela Gilbert "Scarcely to Be Described’: Urban Extremes as Real Spaces and Mythic Places in the London Cholera Epidemic of 1854,” Nineteenth Century Studies, Vol. 14 (2000): 149-172 

Working-Class Culture

7 Feb - Gareth Stedman-Jones, “Working-class culture and working-class politics in London, 1870-1900: Notes on the remaking of a working class, ” Journal of Social History, vol 7:4 (1974), read pp. 490-497

Public Houses & Opium Dens

14 Feb - Virginia Berridge & Griffith Edwards, Opium and the People, ch 9 “Opium and the Workers” 

Sex and the City

26 Feb - Judith Walkowitz, “The Making of an Outcast Group: Prostitutes and Working Women in Nineteenth-Century Plymouth and Southampton,” in A Widening Sphere, ed. Martha Vicinus (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977) 

28 Feb - Erika D. Rappaport, “ ‘The Halls of Temptation’: Gender, Politics, and the Construction of the Department Store in Late Victorian London,” Journal of British Studies 35 (1996): 58-83.

Investigating the Poor

5 Mar - Charles Booth Online Archive http://booth.lse.ac.uk/

7 Mar - Seth Koven, “Dr Barnardo’s  ‘Artistic Fictions’: Photography, Sexuality and the Ragged Child in Victorian London,” Radical History Review 69 (1997), pp 8-12, 25-38.

Science & Spectacle

12 Mar - Alison Winter, “Mesmerism and Popular Culture in Early Victorian England,” History of Science 32 (1994)

14 Mar - Mary Ann Elston, “Women and Anti-vivisection in Victorian England,” in Vivisection in Historical Perspective, ed. Nicholas Rupke (London: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 271-286

Crime Waves

21 Mar - Judith Walkowitz, “Jack the Ripper,” ch 7 in City of Dreadful Delight (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992) 


26 Mar - George K. Behlmer, “Grave Doubts: Victorian Medicine, Moral Panic, and the Signs of Death,” Journal of British Studies, 42:2 (2003)