Themes and Variations
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This book presents a broad range of original data on childhood in Victorian Britain. It combines a social science approach to data with historical context, resulting in a highly readable account based on sound historiography.
Against a backdrop of the industrial revolution, an expanding economy, and a rising standard of living, Victorian Childhood explores life and death, child development, the family, work, education, social life, cities, crime, and advocacy and reform. Presenting data on the deteriorating health of children during the nineteenth century and on their increasing displacement of adults in the workplace, the author demonstrates that they did not share proportionately in the increased standard of living.
Jordan's book is a unique piece of scholarship in its range, focus, and presentation. Original sources such as diaries and memoirs not previously cited elsewhere, literature from the period, and anecdotes from the children themselves animate the statistical background and provide vivid pictures of their lives.
Thomas E. Jordan is Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.