Trafalgar Square since the pro-Boer demonstration at the time of the South African war’.3 But if the Progressives had won this fight, they did not win the battle at the polling booth. In 1907 the Unionist-linked Municipal Reform Party took control of local government in the metropolis for the first time. Charles Masterman, a Liberal politician, claimed that the Municipal Reformers’ breakthrough had resulted from their ability to harness class interests. According to Masterman, the suburban middle classes swarmed to the polls ‘in feverish hordes…to vote against a truculent

in Conservatism for the democratic age
Between respectable and risqué satire in 1848

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
Non-maternal carers in the criminal courts

in convictions. Stepfathers were more likely to commit everyday violence, since they lived with the mothers of the children, and the courts did not excuse their violence lightly. Only nineteen men in this sample were not in the position of father to the child. Wider kin made up five of the others, with only two having no blood or step relation. The majority of male defendants (ninety-nine) were working class, but twenty-one were middle class (thirteen lower middle). In addition, men were older. I have ages in seventy-six cases, and only twenty men were under twenty

in Illegitimacy in English law and society,1860–1930
Sexual incitement as a capital crime

female body. One day in the Police Court she was wearing ‘a brown coat with mole fur collar and cuffs, a hat also of fur, and plain white gloves. Beneath her brown coat was a grey crepe de chine dress trimmed with black silk.’16 (Gloves and hats were essential wear for respectable middle-class women in the 1920s; fur also was widely worn by the middleclasses.)17 Other days in court, Edith’s coat generally appeared to be the same, but the hats changed: ‘a large velour hat’, ‘a small hat and veil’, ‘a velvet Tam-o-Shanter’, ‘a black velvety hat with black quills’.18

in Modern women on trial

example, the critic and cartoonist Osbert Lancaster considered that suburban semi-­detached houses ‘will inevitability become the slums of the future’.6 He was, of course, wrong. By paying too much attention to the musings of these well-­educated and privileged commentators, we miss the reality of interwar suburban life. This newly formed lower middle class did not have a powerful voice, so we were left for much of the twentieth century with the results of intellectual prejudice, a negative view of suburbia that was very evident in literature, popular music, radio and

in The experience of suburban modernity

actually represented middle-class enthusiasm for empire. In his seminal study on the British working class and the Boer War, Richard Price argued that most working-class institutions were largely unaffected by the period of intense patriotism and that the jingoistic crowds that celebrated Mafeking were mostly led by young middle-class men. Price also contended that working-class recruitment to the army

in Visions of empire
South Wales Miners’ Institutes

established across the Welsh coalfields in the mid-nineteenth century. These were archetypal middle-class organisations that offered culturally superior entertainment in an attempt to make the workforce ‘sober, pious and productive’.4 The South Wales Miners’ Institutes were different. Far from being under South Wales Miners’ Institutes middle-class patronage, Miners’ Institutes were working-class organisations that were chiefly financed, controlled, and managed by the communities in which they were situated.5 Moreover, many of the activities offered would have been

in Popular culture and working-class taste in Britain, 1930–39

feeling that the war would change lives fundamentally and perhaps irrevocably. This chapter and the next will thus explore some of the changes experienced by middle-class men as they went about their ‘everyday’ lives in wartime. Focusing particularly on the first twelve months or so of the war, this chapter will suggest that although ­middle-class men were physically distanced from the actual fighting, the war intruded in their lives in a variety of ways. Indeed, it was generally felt right that it should: few believed that people should continue their normal activities

in Civvies
Abstract only
India in children’s periodicals

the twilight of an English spring’. 6 The periodicals did not neglect, however, the fact that the relationship with India and its peoples worked on other levels as well, and incorporated into their picture of Empire the practical and less heroic relations of the imperial world. It was perhaps in these more prosaic encounters that the young middle-class reader might come closer to an imagined future as

in Britannia’s children
Abstract only
Family, memory and modernity

Chapter 5 Home: family, memory and modernity The middle years of the twentieth century have frequently been presented as a period in which a particular version of modern, largely suburban domesticity achieved hegemony in English life. In the inter-war period, for example, the growth of suburbia in the form of both owner-occupied ‘Tudorbethan’ and municipal neo-Georgian seemed to offer middle and working class alike a modern, mass-produced version of the cottage lifestyle in almost infinitely variegated pastiches of vernacular architecture.1 While the Second

in The working class in mid-twentieth-century England