History | The Shaping of Early Victorian Britain (1837-1850)
Why this course?
Rich and poor and their world: their architecture and living conditions - from large country estates and townhouses to humble cottages and town rookeries of the residuum; their social life, culture and the impact of influential women.
We study how dwellings were built and furnished and view the internal workings of the home. There was a strict hierarchy which existed “below stairs” which was far more snobbish than that between master and servant. The domestic life of the servant, their duties, wages and relationship with the houses in which they worked is a fascinating one. Mrs. Beeton was the Delia Smith of her day and introduced technology into household management.
Other course themes include the poor, their lack of amenities, deficient nutrition and medical attention and the effect of their appalling living and working conditions. We also see how campaigning women made a difference, such as Barbara Bodichon who wrote “Women and Work” which argued that a married women's dependence on her husband was degrading. We also reflect on the colourful world of William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement.
Illustrated with PowerPoint slideshows, images and texts.
- Fascinating social and cultural history
- Colourful images
- Powerpoint illustrations
- Relaxed atmosphere
- Lively class discussion
- Amusing and friendly tutor
Much was happening in this period including reforms and a different way of thinking which brought about Factory Acts and highlighted the needs of the poor.
Working conditions were harsh and homes for the poor insanitary. The family was central to peaceful harmony and the new middle-class norm was for separate spheres.
Women's role was in the domestic sphere, focusing on her husband, family care and “good works”. While Men were to be in the public sphere, including politics and commerce. Legally, Women had almost no rights and were the property of their husbands.
Class illustrated with PowerPoint slideshows.
Tutor: Sarah Tobias
Why the MET?
- Online access to course documents, resources and study support through the MET’s virtual learning environment
- High-quality learning resource centres providing library and computing facilities
- Access to the MET’s student services, including career advice and additional learning support
- Cafés and coffee bars with a wide range of reasonably priced meals, snacks and drinks
The course fees are £127.00 for 10 weeks.
This course is eligible for a 50% discount if you are in receipt of certain benefits. This discounted fee is shown as category B below: