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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
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
Class and consumption at mid century

awful’?5 Smith’s texts fix the gent very precisely in specific locations, associated with particular leisure activities and patterns of consumption, which worked A ‘Chamber of Horrors’: class and consumption at mid century  137 6.2  Unknown wood engraver after a drawing by Archibald Henning, title letter to chapter 3, ‘Of their Haunts’, wood engraving from Albert Smith, The Natural History of the Idler upon Town (London: D. Bogue, 1848), p. 14. to distance vulgar, disruptive and even revolutionary consumerism from the middle-class reader. However, the

in Novelty fair
The politics of consumption in 1848

number of tensions that characterize the mid nineteenth century. Smith’s writings precisely define the gent as a type and locate him within the entertainment venues and shopping streets of late-1840s London. This functioned to distance the gent’s threatening vulgarity from middle-class respectability. In this sense Smith’s volume should be viewed alongside etiquette books that aimed to help the newly moneyed avoid social embarrassment as they rose socially. Although seemingly a figure of fun, because taste and class were elided in his ‘offensive body’, the gent was

in Novelty fair
Art schools and art education

design education was seen as essential for the development of Britain’s design- and craft-related industries. It is important to stress, however, that demands for artistic education came from a number of sources, many of which were unconnected with industry or government.2 For many in the upper middle classes, art education formed a central part of liberal education. It was also regarded as an important polite art, especially for ladies, to be pursued as part of a sophisticated leisured lifestyle. Thus some of the earliest art schools were developed not in industrial

in High culture and tall chimneys
Factory landscapes, leisure and the model employee

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
Representing the Chartist crowd in 1848

2 ‘All that is solid melts into air’: representing the Chartist crowd in 1848 This chapter explores representations of the Chartist crowd that gathered on 10 April 1848 to deliver a petition to Parliament said to number six million signatures. The petition was in support of the six points of the People’s Charter, which, among other reforms, demanded franchise for all adult men. Petitions in favour of the Charter had been delivered to Parliament in 1839 and 1842, but in early 1848, following revolutions in Europe, among the authorities and the middle class fears

in Novelty fair
Popular advice manuals and the orchestration of the private interior

sculpture Mercury of c. 1565 seems a reasonable choice for such an interior, how can one explain the presence of Venus de Milo in the same room? This chapter studies the new theories about collecting and interior decorating that developed in France in the second half of the nineteenth century to understand the appearance of model interiors such as Rémon’s. A new interest in the decoration of upper- and middle-class homes led a variety of authors to share their ideas about ideal house décor with the public at large. Their work, published in collecting and interior

in Interior decorating in nineteenth-century France
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On the humanism of precarious works

consider what Jackson has termed the ‘disavowal of support’ required for the freedom of a hegemonic class of individuals.21 In light of Jackson’s analysis, it is no coincidence that women are largely absent from the 2006 History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers and Bums in America, as its author Tom Lutz acknowledged himself.22 In his account, Lutz dwelt briefly on the case of Beat writer Joyce Johnson, for example, who worked as a secretary as she put up Kerouac in her apartment while he was busy writing. Apparently, Kerouac had the nerve to remark to Johnson: ‘If I had

in Almost nothing
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British visual culture between Chartism and the Great Exhibition

First performed on 21 May 1850, the satirical play Novelty Fair; or Hints for 1851 opened at almost exactly the middle of the 19th century. Its plot juxtaposes 1848, Chartism and republicanism, with 1851 and the coming Great Exhibition. Using Novelty Fair as inspiration, this book brings together Victorian people, things and places typically understood to be unrelated. By juxtaposing urban fairs and the Great Exhibition, daguerreotypes and ballads, satirical shilling books and government backed design reform, blackface performers and middle-class paterfamilias, a strikingly different picture of mid 19th-century culture emerges. Rather than a clean break between revolution and exhibition, class-consciousness and consumerism, popular and didactic, risqué and respectable, an examination of a wide range of sources reveals these themes to be interdependent and mutually defined. As a result, the years of Chartism and the Great Exhibition are shown to be far more contested than previously recognized, with bourgeois forms and strategies under stress in a period that has often been seen as a triumphant one for that class.