A Victorian Woman's Place: Public Culture in the Nineteeth by Simon Morgan

By Simon Morgan

Whereas similar to bourgeois Victorian ladies as 'angels in the home' remoted from the area in deepest domesticity has lengthy been pushed aside as an unrealistic perfect, girls have remained marginalised in lots of fresh money owed of the general public tradition of the center type. Simon Morgan goals to redress the stability, by way of drawing on quite a few assets together with inner most files he argues that ladies truly performed a huge function within the formation of the general public identification of the Victorian heart type. via their help for cultural and philanthropic institutions and their engagement in political campaigns, girls built a nascent civic id, which for a few expert their later calls for for political rights. center classification ladies and Victorian Public tradition deals quite a few insights for the reader into the general public lives of ladies during this attention-grabbing interval.

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Charles Turner Thackrah, for instance, appointed to the lowly post of Town’s Surgeon with responsibility for poor law patients in 1817, was ostracized by his colleagues when he fathered an illegitimate son in 1823. 66 This connection to a broader learned community increased their status in the eyes of their contemporaries, as did the fact that they were often well travelled, although doubts as to their actual ability to cure lingered, not without justification. 67 This scheme relieved would-be surgeons of the difficulty and expense of attending medical school in the metropolis, though they still had to spend some time practising in the big metropolitan teaching hospitals.

41 In other words, the dissenters formed a classic and dynamic counterpublic; but for such an entity to thrive it required institutions that could support it. THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE 21 Before 1830, there were few formal institutions for public information and discussion in Leeds, and few public buildings of any note to engender a feeling of civic pride in the inhabitants. Those that did exist tended to reflect the town’s commercial preoccupations, especially the dominance of the textile trade.

The number of booksellers and stationers increased to 13 in 1817, 19 in 1822, and 29 by 1830. By 1857 there were 45 booksellers and stationers and 19 24 A VICTORIAN WOMAN’S PLACE newsagents. Between 1830 and 1857, the number of letter press printers rose from 11 to 34. It is easy to get carried away by the accounts of Reid and the younger Baines, which portray in Whiggish fashion Leeds’ progression from an eighteenth-century dark age to the glorious enlightenment of the second half of the nineteenth century.

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