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Class, gender and home ownership
Deborah Sugg Ryan

2 Suburban: class, gender and home ownership In 1932 Ronald Kingham, a linoleum layer, and his wife of four years, Miriam, became homeowners for the first time. The couple were in their mid-twenties and had no children. They purchased 23 Bromley Road, Edmonton, Middlesex, a newly built house with three bedrooms, two reception rooms, a small ‘kitchenette’ and an upstairs bathroom (Figure 2.1). As a skilled manual worker, Ronald’s income probably matched or even exceeded some of those in lower-paid clerical occupations. The Kinghams purchased the house directly

in Ideal homes, 1918–39
Michael John Law

9 Accidents and suburban modernity A ccess to the new suburban arterial roads changed individual mobilities,     firstly for the wealthy and then for a much wider group. The interwar suburban road was a site of accidents and danger, a location that privileged the rich and penalised the poor and the old. Accidents reflect the twin face of modernity that couples the order of the network of new well-­engineered roads with simultaneously chaotic high-­speed car crashes. Car drivers and motorcyclists put themselves at risk, but high-­speed motoring was even more

in The experience of suburban modernity
Michael John Law

4 Suburban air-­mindedness I n comparison to the bicycle, motorcycle and car, the aeroplane might seem to have been a remote and exotic technology in London life, used only by the wealthiest traveller. In fact, flying was much more significant to London’s suburban life during the interwar period than it is today. London’s suburbs boasted a wide variety of airfields that were home to scheduled services to the continent, the Royal Air Force, famous air pioneers, private flyers and visiting flying circuses.1 At these airfields, local suburbanites took to the air

in The experience of suburban modernity
Térésa Faucon

10 Godard’s suburban years Térésa Faucon Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Karina years’ were also his ‘Paris years’, critic Alain Bergala once noted. They were no less Godard’s suburban years, for in addition to the portrait of greater Paris in Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle, from the late 1950s to the late 1960s the director shot several films around the French capital. As Eric Rohmer noted, the banlieue offers the film director ‘a choice subject – first of all, because millions of people live there, and secondly, because it’s a newer and more varied setting than

in Screening the Paris suburbs
How private transport changed interwar London

The Experience of Suburban Modernity explores how the adoption of new forms of private transport transformed inter-war suburban London. It shows how London’s suburban middle classes used their newly found disposable income to enjoy driving, motorcycling and flying. The Experience of Suburban Modernity demonstrates that these new practices were welcomed by many, but met resistance to change from those who were dismayed by the accidents that resulted from increased mobility and the aesthetic and cultural changes that were the consequence of Americanization and suburban development. The book is divided into three sections. The first considers each of the private transport technologies in turn: the car, the bicycle and motorcycle, and the aeroplane and shows how they contributed to a sense of suburban modernity. The second section examines the infrastructure that supported these technologies and shows how they were interpreted in contested visions of the meaning of Englishness. The final section describes a set of journeys that demonstrate a condition of suburban modernity. These include the roadhouse, a site of Americanisation and transgression, new mobile practices of consumption, the embodied experiences of driving in a modern way, and the disastrous consequences of air and car accidents.

Michael John Law

7 Pleasure and peril at the suburban roadhouse T he new arterial road system provided for the possibility of high-­speed motoring from London into its suburban periphery.1 As driving became fashionable and an opportunity to display wealth and status, it was inevitable that entrepreneurs would begin the process of converting their garages, tearooms and filling stations into roadhouses that catered for their customers’ drinking and entertainment as well as their practical needs. The popularity of the high-­speed journey to the roadhouse soon came to the attention

in The experience of suburban modernity
Bernice M. Murphy

of narrative is the frequency with which the sanctity and supposedly inherent moral worth of the nuclear family is violently rent asunder. In the Suburban Gothic, in other words, you frequently have the most to fear from those you are related to. In American popular culture, suburbanites are seldom menaced by a terrible ‘other’; instead, they tend to be violently despatched by one of their own, usually

in Gothic kinship
James Greenhalgh

3 The city and the suburban village In the previous chapters I demonstrated how local government in Manchester and Hull sought to holistically produce more orderly and functional cities and described the variety of challenges that they faced. Nowhere are these attempts to shape a certain type of society through the manipulation of space more in evidence than in the creation of social housing estates either side of the Second World War. The remaining two chapters of this book are thus concerned with the production of these estates, the ideas that underpinned

in Reconstructing modernity
Tanya Cheadle

3 Re-sexing religion in suburban Glasgow I n June 1903, Bella and Charles Pearce played host to an American couple at ‘Nithsdale’, their large stone villa in the middle-class Glasgow suburb of Langside. The man was Thomas Lake Harris, an imposing, eighty-year-old Christian mystic and the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood of the New Life, a millenarian organisation behind two utopian communities in New York state and California. The woman was Jane Lee Waring, a seventy-three-year-old heiress, originally from New York City, who had joined the Brotherhood in her

in Sexual progressives
Melissa Edmundson

Throughout the nineteenth century, the term ‘uncomfortable houses’ was used to describe properties where restless spirits made life unpleasant for any living persons who tried to claim these supernatural residences as their own. This article uses the idea of ‘uncomfortable houses’ to examine how this ghostly discomfort related to larger cultural issues of economics and class in Victorian Britain. Authors such as Charlotte Riddell and Margaret Oliphant used the haunted house story as a means of social critique which commented on the financial problems facing many lower- and middle-class Victorians. Their stories focus on the moral development of the protagonists and reconciliation through the figure of the ghost, ultimately giving readers the happy endings that many male-authored ghost stories lack. Riddell‘s ‘The Old House in Vauxhall Walk’ and ‘Walnut-Tree House’ and Oliphant‘s ‘The Open Door’ serve as important examples of this ‘suburban Gothic’ literature.

Gothic Studies