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Level X

History – Life, Work & Leisure in Late Victorian England (1865-1895) – Spring Term


The long Victorian period was one of complete contrasts, especially during the latter part of the century. We study progress and change in architecture, technology, domestic life, work, leisure and the arts, using literature as a backdrop to set the scene, and paintings to demonstrate domestic and public life

We focus on cultural aspects of society, expansion and development, and wider issues of change and women’s status; and view various transforming revolutions which impacted on society, including advances in technology and the electrical revolution of 1870. New scientific thought caused landowners to reconsider agricultural methods of farming; this in turn effecting changes in rural and urban life. There was considerable migration from country to town which brought about changes in traditional ways of living. We also consider facets which remained constant, such as the huge gap between the lives of wealthy and poor.

We discuss social investigation and reforms, including Charles Booth’s “Life and Labour of the People in London” and his famous poverty maps. Social conscience among the burgeoning middle classes led to social investigation and action. There were many women social investigators, such as Brighton born Clementina Black (1853-1922), feminist, author and social reformer who was involved with the 1888 Match Girl’;s Strike at the Bryant and May factory -; conditions we also study.

Illustrated with images, powerpoint slideshows and film.

N.B. History courses may contain outdated attitudes, cultural depictions and language which cause offence today. They have to be viewed from an historic perspective. When discussing the content these views are not those of the tutor.

Tutor Sarah Tobias. This course will run on Wednesday afternoons 1300-1500 held at Parish Church of the Holy Cross, Downsway, Woodingdean, Brighton, BN2 6BD


Suitable for all abillities


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