Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850

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University of Chicago Press, May 28, 1987 - History - 576 pages
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"Family Fortunes is a major groundbreaking study that will become a classic in its field. I was fascinated by the information it provided and the argument it established about the role of gender in the construction of middle-class values, family life, and property relations.

"The book explores how the middle class constructed its own institutions, material culture and values during the industrial revolution, looking at two settings—urban manufacturing Birmingham and rural Essex—both centers of active capitalist development. The use of sources is dazzling: family business records, architectural designs, diaries, wills and trusts, newspapers, prescriptive literature, sermons, manuscript census tracts, the papers of philanthropic societies, popular fiction, and poetry.

"Family Fortunes occupies a place beside Mary Ryan's The Cradle of the Middle Class and Suzanne Lebsock's Free Women of Petersburg. It provides scholars with a definitive study of the middle class in England, and facilitates a comparative perspective on the history of middle-class women, property, and the family."—Judith Walkowitz, Johns Hopkins University
 

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Contents

Foreword
9
Setting the scene
36
Introduction
73
men women
107
Doctrines on manliness Doctrines on femininity The ministry
130
Laymen and women
140
domestic ideology and
149
The Queen Caroline affair Middleclass readers and writers
180
Introduction
319
the creation of the middleclass home
357
men women and the public sphere
416
Epilogue
450
Tables
465
Lofty pine and clinging vine living with gender in
531
Select bibliography
542
People index
560

Introduction
195
men and the enterprise
231
women and the enterprise
272

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About the author (1987)

Lenore Davidoff is senior lecturer in social history in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. Catherine Hall is senior lecturer in cultural history at the Polytechnic of East London.

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