Life changes in England since 1700
Author: Hugh Cunningham

This book provides the first history of how we have imagined and used time since 1700. It traces the history of the relationship between work and leisure, from the 'leisure preference' of male workers in the eighteenth century, through the increase in working hours in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to their progressive decline from 1830 to 1970. It examines how trade union action was critical in achieving the decline; how class structured the experience of leisure; how male identity was shaped by both work and leisure; how, in a society that placed high value on work, a 'leisured class' was nevertheless at the apex of political and social power – until it became thought of as 'the idle rich'. Coinciding with the decline in working hours, two further tranches of time were marked out as properly without work: childhood and retirement.

By the mid-twentieth century married men had achieved a work- leisure balance. In the 1960s and 1970s it was argued that leisure time would increase at a rapid rate. This false prediction coincided with the entry of married women into the labour market and a halt to the decline in working hours and in sectors of the economy a reversal of it. These two developments radically changed the experience of time and thinking about it. Time became equated with achieving a 'work-life balance' where 'life' was often unpaid childcare and domestic work.

Hugh Cunningham

4 Leisure and class, 1750 –1850 I n the century between 1750 and 1850 there were two apparently contradictory processes at work. On the one hand, there seemed to be a concerted attack on popular leisure by the forces of authority (government, the law, the Church), egged on and reinforced by voluntary organisations and in tune with the wishes of employers. On the other, there is much evidence of a vibrant popular culture, with new forms of entertainment coming to the fore, and entrepreneurs both creating and responding to demand. Despite this there was a strong

in Time, work and leisure
A transnational perspective

This collection of essays examines the history of urban leisure cultures in Europe in the transition from the early modern to the modern period. The volume brings together research on a wide variety of leisure activities which are usually studied in isolation: from theatre and music culture, art exhibitions, spas and seaside resorts, to sports and games, walking and cafés and restaurants. The book develops a new research agenda for the history of leisure by focusing on the complex processes of cultural transfer that were fundamental in transforming urban leisure culture from the British Isles to France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Austria and the Ottoman Empire. How did new models of organising and experiencing urban leisure pastimes ‘travel’ from one European region to another? Who were the main agents of cultural innovation and appropriation? How did entrepreneurs, citizens and urban authorities mediate and adapt foreign influences to local contexts? How did the increasingly ‘entangled’ character of European urban leisure culture impact upon the ways men and women from various classes identified with their social, cultural or (proto)national communities?

Accessible and wide-ranging, this volume offers students and scholars a broad overview of the history of urban leisure culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe. The agenda-setting focus on transnational cultural transfer will stimulate new questions and contribute to a more integrated study of the rise of modern urban culture.

Author: Brad Beaven

This book analyses the development of male leisure against the changing notions of citizenship which underpinned perceptions of British society during the period 1850-1945. It opens with an examination of the 'leisure' problem of the middle decades of the nineteenth century. After the defeat of Chartism and associated challenges to the employers' right to organise the workplace, factory owners, the clergy and philanthropists established schemes of rational recreation designed to attract and educate working-class males. The book explores how schemes of rational recreation attempted to create the model citizen and the impact of these strategies on male working-class leisure. Taking three influential leisure activities - drink, the music hall and association football - the book explores their impact on both concepts of citizenship and male leisure patterns. In addition, commercial leisure also highlighted the marked gender divides in leisure activities found within working-class households. The book investigates the generational issues that shaped male working-class leisure. The increase in non-apprenticed semi-skilled work, particularly in the 'new' industry regions, raised fears that monotonous working practices and new leisure activities were a dangerous social cocktail. Moreover the book investigates how, during the late Victorian and early Edwardian era, the problem of a 'degenerate' youth became entwined with anxieties over the future of empire. It further contextualises male leisure against the dominant concerns between 1918 and 1945. This era saw the suburbanisation of British cities, continued anxieties over male citizenry and increased international tensions that led to war.

Hugh Cunningham

6 Men, work and leisure, 1850 –1970 T ime spent at work, daily, weekly, annually, declined over the period 1850 to 1970. Correspondingly, time for leisure increased. At a simple level this suggests a consistent preference for leisure time over work time. Other factors, however, affected the balance of how time was spent: concerns about employment opportunities and threats to them; rising standards of living; changes in the nature of work; a huge expansion of leisure facilities. Between them work time and leisure time gave men a sense of who they were, of their

in Time, work and leisure
The pleasure-seeking citizen
Brad Beaven

2 The era of mass leisure: the pleasure-seeking citizen T he rise of mass commercial leisure in the late nineteenth century profoundly influenced the nature and development of popular culture in Britain. The emergence of the modern city with its crowded living and working conditions ensured that mass leisure became a potent symbol of the age. New populist and heavily capitalised commercial leisure events offered no ‘rational’ self-improvement, and in turn attracted vast numbers of ‘pleasure seekers’. With few moral restraints, leisure entrepreneurs capitalised

in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
A continuity in lifestyle
Brad Beaven

5 Male youth, work and leisure, 1918–39: a continuity in lifestyle T he interwar period witnessed a shift in attitudes towards the longstanding ‘problem’ of male youth leisure. As with the Victorian period, working-class youths were regarded with suspicion by the authorities, who worried that the latest degenerate leisure craze could result in tomorrow’s national failing. However, the difference from the Victorian era lay in the methodologies employed to investigate male youth behaviour. For the first time, thanks to new research emanating from the United

in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
Swedish towns in a European perspective, eighteenth–nineteenth centuries
Dag Lindström

7 Leisure culture, entrepreneurs and urban space: Swedish towns in a European perspective, eighteenth–nineteenth centuries dag lindström I n 1805, no fewer than 327 prominent citizens purchased shares in the newly founded Assembly and Theatre House Company in the small town of Linköping. The shareholders represented a mix of old and new elites, including the archbishop of Sweden, the bishop of Linköping, local nobility, officers, officials, distinguished burghers and manufacturers. The list of subscribers also included the names of several women. Most of the

in Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c.1700–1870
Hugh Cunningham

3 Leisure preference and its critics, 1700 –1850 C ommentary on the relationship between work and leisure, both at the time and amongst historians, tends to be based on a fundamental and misleading assumption: it is that workers were adult males who had one occupation for which they were paid in wages. In the eighteenth century the assumption was correct for some workers but by no means for all. It failed to cover children, women, servants, apprentices, multi-occupation men, the unemployed and the underemployed, and those who survived by getting by in an

in Time, work and leisure
The rise of ‘suburban neurosis’?
Brad Beaven

4 Male leisure in the industrial suburb, 1918–39: the rise of ‘suburban neurosis’? I n 1919 a number of cities and towns across Britain were shaken by outbreaks of fierce civil unrest.1 Although the immediate causes for the disturbances varied, it had become abundantly clear to the local civic elite that the nineteenth-century vision of social citizenship lay in ruins. This failure was most apparent in the expanding cities in the Midlands and Southeast, which had witnessed some of the most vigorous attempts to implement schemes of social citizenship between

in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945