Master and Servant: Love and Labour in the English Industrial Age

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Overview

Leading historian Carolyn Steedman offers a fascinating and compelling account of love, life and domestic service in eighteenth-century England. The book, situated in the regional and chronological epicentre of E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, focuses on the relationship between a Church of England clergyman (the 'Master' of the tide) and his pregnant maidservant. This case-study of people behaving in ways quite contrary to the standard historical account sheds new light on the much wider historical questions of Anglicanism as social thought, the economic history of the industrial revolution, domestic service, the Poor Law, literacy, education, and the very making of the English working class. It offers a unique meditation on the relationship between history and literature and will be of interest to scholars and students of industrial England, social and cultural history and English literature.

About the Author:
Carolyn Steedman is Professor of History at the University of Warwick

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...brilliant piece of recovery..."
- Guardian

"...an important new lens for reading the now mythical story of the making of the working class.... Steedman's Master and Servant is a valuable addition to our understanding of work and domestic life in this cradle of industrial society." -Susannah Ottaway, H-Albion

"Although Steedman's essays in this book never quench the desire to know more about the 'real' people who inspire it, they contribute significantly to our understanding of the eighteenth century." -Patty Seleski, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Refreshingly comprehensive and attentive to the historiography on servants..." -Melissa M. Mowry, Eighteenth-Century Studies

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Carolyn Steedman is Professor of History at the University of Warwick. Her previous publications include Strange Dislocations. Childhood and the Idea of Human Interiority, 1780-1980 (1995) and Dust (2001).

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Table of Contents


List of maps     viii
Acknowledgements     ix
Prologue     1
Introduction: on service and silences     13
Wool, worsted and the working class: myths of origin     29
Lives and writing     47
Labour     66
Working for a living     87
Teaching     110
Relations     131
The Gods     152
Love     176
Nelly's version     193
Conclusion: Phoebe in Arcadia     217
Bibliography     231
Index     257
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