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D.G. Paz

This article addresses three topics. It describes Chartisms creation of a ‘peoples history’ as an alternative to middle-class history, whether Whig or Tory. It locates the sources, most of which have not been noticed before, for the Chartist narrative of the English Reformation. William Cobbetts reinterpretation of the English Reformation is well known as a source for the working-class narrative; William Howitts much less familiar but more important source, antedating Cobbetts History of the Protestant Reformation in England, is used for the first time. The article reconstructs that narrative using printed and manuscript lectures and published interpretations dating from the first discussions of the Peoples Charter in 1836 to the last Chartist Convention in 1858. The manuscript lectures of Thomas Cooper are an essential but little-used source. The article contributes to historical understanding of the intellectual life of the English working class.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Housing, tradition, and German modernism

This book constitutes the first major study of tradition as a field of political and cultural contestation in modern architectural culture. Examining German-language design theory from 1848 to 1918, Rousset traces the diverse and fascinating efforts by architectural reformists to confront class antagonism through the provision of simple, traditionally minded domestic design. Based on extensive original research and copiously illustrated, The architecture of social reform introduces readers to a host of modern architects, urbanists, reform experts, and art critics, including Gottfried Semper, Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl, Karl Henrici, Josef Stübben, Camillo Sitte, Rudolf Eberstadt, Walter Curt Behrendt, Werner Hegemann, Karl Scheffler, Hermann Muthesius, Paul Schultze-Naumburg, Albert Gessner, Albert E. Brinckmann, and Paul Mebes, who sought to reform housing along traditionalist lines from the scale of the living room to that of the city-region.

Countering the narrative that tradition signified the last breath of an eclectic and defunct historicism, The architecture of social reform breaks new ground in the assessment of modern architecture by revealing how architects and other design experts engaged with tradition in order to stake out a socially progressive position for themselves while learning from the past.

Readers interested in continuing debates over the future of architecture, housing, and politics will find this book essential reading.

Between respectable and risqué satire in 1848
Jo Briggs

informed both the journal’s contents and the way they were read. For Punch respectability was a desire then, rather than a given, and its contributors’ assertions of decorum should not be taken at face value. In 1848, against the backdrop of the fallout from the 10 April Chartist demonstration and ongoing arrests and plotting over the summer, Punch’s desire for respectable humour was threatened. This can be seen most clearly in the publication’s satires at the expense of the middle-class special constables who volunteered to assist to keep the peace on the day of the

in Novelty fair
Abstract only
J.W.M. Hichberger

The Crimean war, as we have seen, was used as evidence of the aristocracy’s ‘unfitness’ to rule the army. The middle classes increasingly claimed the right to a voice in its administration, and the system of purchase once more came under attack. It was the ranks which were the chief focus of middle-class agitation. The daily life of the common soldier was examined in a

in Images of the army
Ben Highmore

inhabited as an exclusively white culture? And how does the racial framing of taste relate to the question of how class and taste are linked? Is the term ‘class’, within the context of British postwar history, something that is experienced as a predominantly white phenomenon and experience? In a recent study of British black middle-class experience, Ali Meghji finds a degree of resistance to the very idea that middle-class identity and black identity can be articulated together. For one of his interviewees – a doctor living and

in Lifestyle revolution
Simon Grennan

domestic relatives of working men. Such were the majority of Victorian women employees (Verdon 2002 ; Clarke 1997 ; Roberts 1995 ; Lown 1990 ). However, analysis of the contingencies of middle-class women employees (those whose employment required the purchase of education or training, as well as contradicting the other definitive circumstances of woman manual workers), establishes that the key distinction between the exigencies of male and female employment lay in the impact of women's domestic lives and the lives of children upon their

in Marie Duval
Ben Highmore

and needed to be replaced. ‘Old terraced houses’, Crossman continued, ‘may have a snob-appeal to members of the middle class but they are not suitable accommodation for working class tenants’. 5 Thompson translated Grossman’s definition as: ‘An old building which, occupied by members of the middle class, forms part of our glorious heritage, is, if occupied by members of the working class, a rat-infested slum’. 6 In terms of value these houses were capable of moving from being out-of-date ‘rubbish’ that would require knocking

in Lifestyle revolution
Ben Highmore

be ‘status-conferring’. 6 The choice of treating ‘pot plants as status symbols’ in a satirical novel about sociology is not accidental. George Orwell’s 1936 novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying saw this hardy pot plant as a sign of Victorian middle-class respectability, as did many other social commentators. He had introduced the phrase ‘keep the aspidistra flying’ the year before in his novel A Clergyman’s Daughter . In that novel a group of hop-pickers sit down to some well-earned refreshments, and one of

in Lifestyle revolution
Isabel Rousset

more radical Pietists across the Atlantic, just as much as Hoffman reproached Fourier’s phalanstère ideal. 10 The Christian yearning towards moderation over bourgeois excess increasingly aligned with a growing self-awareness among the emerging German middle classes in the early nineteenth century, whose social values coalesced around the ‘plain, comfortable, domestic world of the Biedermeier home, with

in The architecture of social reform
Factory landscapes, leisure and the model employee
Helena Chance

limited due to low income and opportunity. In Britain, leisure time for the factory worker had been slightly improved after the introduction of the Ten Hours Act in 1847 (although a considerable number of factory owners flouted the rules), followed by the Saturday half day in the 1870s, although many workers including those in service worked many more hours. New forms of recreation became available to working and lower-middle classes, including music hall, association football and seaside holidays and, by the 1890s, leisure had been institutionalised though advertising

in The factory in a garden