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The Golden Age: Essays in British Social and Economic History, 1850-1870
     

The Golden Age: Essays in British Social and Economic History, 1850-1870

by Ian Inkster, Colin Griffin, Judith Rowbotham
 

In 1850 the Industrial Revolution came to an end. In 1851 the Great Exhibition illustrated to the whole world the supremacy of industrial England. For the next twenty years Britain reigned supreme. From around 1870 Britain began to decline. Britain is now a second rate power with strong memories of its former supremacy. The above five sentences summarise a common

Overview

In 1850 the Industrial Revolution came to an end. In 1851 the Great Exhibition illustrated to the whole world the supremacy of industrial England. For the next twenty years Britain reigned supreme. From around 1870 Britain began to decline. Britain is now a second rate power with strong memories of its former supremacy. The above five sentences summarise a common view of the sequencing of Britain's rise and relative fall, a stereotype that is challenged and modified in the essays of The Golden Age. By concentrating on central aspects of social and industrial change authors expose the underpinnings of supremacy, its unsung underside, its tarnished gold. Major themes cover industrial and technological change, social institutions and gender relations in a period during which industry and industrialism were equally celebrated and nurtured. Against this background it is difficult to argue for any sudden decline of energy, assets or institution, nor for any significant move from an industrial society to one in which a hearty manufacturing was replaced by commerce and land, sensibility and artifice.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
There must be a dark side to ages of wealth and prosperity, and it is this side that is discerned here as the contributors examine the human costs of industry, technology, social institutions, and contemporary practices with regards to gender. Inkster, professor of international history at Nottingham Trent U. in England (where his assistant editors also teach in various capacities), provides an introduction and co-authors an essay on the Great Exhibition of 1851; other papers consider women workers in rural England, popular culture at the hiring fairs in Yorkshire, the ethos of industrialism presented at the Great Exhibition, financial crime and its defense in the courtroom, coal mining, agriculture, the cotton industry, Faraday and lighthouse technology, and the rhetoric of science and industry. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754601142
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
05/01/2001
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 23.00(d)

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