The Golden Age : essays in British social and economic history 1850-1870 /
edited by Ian Inkster ; with Colin Griffin, Jeff Hill and Judith Rowbotham.
Aldershot ; Brookfield, USA : Ashgate, 2000.
xviii, 284 p. : ill.
More Details
series title
Aldershot ; Brookfield, USA : Ashgate, 2000.
general note
Selected essays from a series of regular fortnightly seminars of the Nottingham Trent History Workshop at the Nottingham Trent University to research Golden Age patenting during the academic years of 1997-1999.
Series statement from jacket.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2001
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Long Description
In 1850 the Industrial Revolution came to an end. In 1851 the Great Exhibition illustrated to the whole world the supremacy of industrial England. For the next twenty years Britain reigned supreme. From around 1870 Britain began to decline. Britain is now a second rate power with strong memories of its former supremacy.The above five sentences summarise a common view of the sequencing of Britain's rise and relative fall, a stereotype that is challenged and modified in the essays of The Golden Age. By concentrating on central aspects of social and industrial change authors expose the underpinnings of supremacy, its unsung underside, its tarnished gold. Major themes cover industrial and technological change, social institutions and gender relations in a period during which industry and industrialism were equally celebrated and nurtured. Against this background it is difficult to argue for any sudden decline of energy, assets or institution, nor for any significant move from an industrial society to one in which a hearty manufacturing was replaced by commerce and land, sensibility and artifice.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Chartsp. vii
Notes on Contributorsp. ix
Events of the Golden Agep. xiii
Preface and Acknowledgementsp. xix
Introduction: A Lustrous Age?p. 1
'Nor all that Glisters ...': The Not So Golden Agep. 9
Introduction to Part I: Industryp. 29
Coalmining in Mid-Victorian Britain: A Golden Age Revisited?p. 32
A Golden Age of Agriculture?p. 46
The Cotton Industry in the 1850s and 1860s: Decades of Contrastp. 61
The Golden Age of Electricityp. 75
Introduction to Part II: Technologyp. 89
Michael Faraday and Lighthousesp. 92
Lies, Damned Lies and Declinism: Lyon Playfair, the Paris 1867 Exhibition and Contested Rhetorics of Scientific Education and Industrial Performancep. 105
Machinofacture and Technical Change: The Patent Evidencep. 121
Social Institutions
Introduction to Part III: Social Institutionsp. 143
'Why Should Working Men Visit the Exhibition?': Workers and the Great Exhibition and the Ethos of Industrialismp. 146
Estimating a Public Sphere: Intellectual and Technical Associations at the Time of the Great Exhibitionp. 164
'Golden Age' and 'Better Days': Narratives of Industrialism in the Cotton Trade of North-East Lancashire, 1860s to 1920sp. 175
Popular Culture and the 'Golden Age': The Church of England and Hiring Fairs in the East Riding of Yorkshire c. 1850-1875p. 184
In Defence of Respectability: Financial Crime, the 'High Art' Criminal and the Language of the Courtroom 1850-1880p. 199
Introduction to Part IV: Genderp. 219
'Physically a splendid race' or 'hardened and brutalised by unsuitable toil'?: Unravelling the Position of Women Workers in Rural England during the Golden Age of Agriculturep. 225
The Respectability Imperative: A Golden Rule in Cases of Sexual Assault?p. 237
Keep the 'Whoam' Fires Burning: Domestic Yearnings in Lancashire Dialect Poetryp. 249
'All our Past Proclaims our Future': Popular Biography and Masculine Identity during the Golden Age, 1850-1870p. 262
Indexp. 276
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