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Intimate Britain: Family, Society and Culture, 1832-1918


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Dr Sean Brady
  • Assessment: two essays of 3000 words (25% each) and a three-hour examination (50%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to the study of Victorian family life, and examine themes such as:

  • childhood
  • old age
  • the Victorian way of death
  • education
  • married life
  • developments in gender expectations
  • feminism and the family
  • the franchise and masculinity
  • the state and motherhood
  • housewifery and the male breadwinner wage
  • suffrage and women
  • the First World War and the family.

We will also look at the family and its discontents, exploring themes such as:

  • divorce
  • homosexuality
  • the 'new life' of the 1880s
  • the 'New Woman' and the 'crisis in masculinity'
  • bastardy
  • birth control
  • bachelorhood
  • the spinster and her enemies.

The module will involve study of documentary evidence, and the historiography of the family, gender, class and sexuality.