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Daily Life in Victorian England [Kindle Edition]

Sally Mitchell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $64.00 What's this?
Print List Price: $55.00
Kindle Price: $43.99
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Kindle Edition $43.99  
Hardcover $46.31  

Book Description

Drawing on a wealth of sources, this volume brings England's Victorian era to life. Teachers, students, and interested readers can use this resource to examine Victorian life in a multitude of settings, from idyllic country estates to urban slums. Organized for easy reference, the volume provides information about the physical, social, economic, and legal details of daily life in Victorian England. Over sixty illustrations plus excerpts from primary sources enliven the work, which can be used in both the classroom and library to answer questions concerning laws, money, social class, values, morality, and private life.

Chapters in the work cover: traditional ways of life in town and country, social class, money, work, crime and punishment, the laws of daily life (marriage, divorce, inheritance, guardians, and bankruptcy), the development of a modern urban world (with railways, electricity, plumbing, and telephones), houses, food, clothing, shopping, the rituals of courtship and funerals, family and social life, education, health and medical care, leisure and pleasure, the importance of religion, and the impact of the Raj and the Empire. Historical contexts are explained and emphasis is placed on groups often invisible in traditional history: children, women both at work and at home, and people who led respectable, ordinary lives. A chronology, glossary, bibliography, and index complete the work. This valuable resource provides students, teachers, and librarians with all the information they need to recreate life in Victorian England.

Editorial Reviews


"The first thing to say about Daily Life in Victorian England is "it's about time." ...[The author] has provided an easy to read summary of information about the ordinary experience of most people during the nineteenth century in Great Britain....It is written in a clear, uncomplicated manner....The finest feature of this book is how much it surveys and how simply it does so....Mitchell has provided a splendid tool for students, both undergraduate and graduate.... [I]t is an extraordinary accomplishment to condense so much basic information in such readable text. Students directed to this book will find all the essentials that they require to understand the daily life of most Victorians, no matter of what class or gender. Every library will want to have at least one copy of this book available for student use..."-Victorian Studies

Book Description

The most comprehensive social history of Victorian England to date.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5069 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (September 24, 1996)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000UOGY4W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional! January 27, 2001
You know, if history classes in schools used books like the 'Daily Life' series as their text, I'm sure alot more kids would not find history so boring. In fact, many kids would probably actually enjoy it! Written in a highly readable 'you are there' style, they truly bring the past to life. Daily Life In Victorian England by Sally Mitchell is no exception. I've used it extensively to add 'flesh to the bones' of my long dead English ancestors in my genealogy research. My ancestors were far from rich and this book explains, in descriptive detail, how they lived and survived; from a description of what their small cottage may have looked like, to the food they ate, to the clothes they wore, and even what type of lighting they had (hint: they probably did not use candles early on!). Birth, baptism, marriage, death and dying, funerals, celebrations- it's all here. And, as I mentioned above, it doesn't just concentrate on the well to do, but ALL the classes of people. This is really a wonderfully written book that is highly recommended. Any interest at all in this era, then it is a MUST HAVE.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books about Victorian England October 25, 2000
Whether you use this book purely for research purposes or simply because you are curious about English life during Victoria's Reign, you will not be disappointed. The content is exceptionally impressive, with none of the padding out and boring text often found in history books. The book is divided into different sections which deal with a wide range of subjects, so you don't have to read through lots of text just to find one particular subject. The book is well illustrated and all kinds of topics are included, from clothing to Victorian morality. As a historical author, I personally found this book to be extremely beneficial and enjoyable to read.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars indepth and invaluable June 29, 2001
By A Customer
In doing extensive research on the basic, every day living of people in Victorian England, I found this book to be an invaluable source to my work. Of all of the books that I ordered, Mitchell's guide to Victorian England truly gives the reader a picture of people, places, and ideas that is only dealt with on surface levels in other texts. For my own work, this book was a savior!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a historical novelist, I have found 'Daily Life in Victorian England' very helpful for understanding period details. Mitchell covers a wide variety of walks of life during the nineteenth century, from the aristocrats we see in movies to the impoverished laborers, with a special emphasis on the rise of the middle class. It is written for American students unfamiliar with the history, politics, and lexicon of England, so she takes extra care to explain things that many other authors assume are common knowledge (like the way degree programs at Oxford and Cambridge are structured, the difference between solicitors and barristers, etc.).

However, the book is not ideal for reference. You need to sit down and read it from beginning to end. While there are useful subject headers to the side of the text, the classes and decades are all mixed together. There are also no citations of primary sources--only a short bibliography for "further reading" at the end. So if the author mentions "one household manual" that suggests ideal family budgets by income, and you'd like to see the original for specifics, you're on your own. As such, I can't recommend the book for anything more than a broad introduction and overview; graduate students, librarians, and other researchers like me will find the lack of references aggravating.

One final note: the cost of this book is just ridiculous. I don't know why Greenwood believes a three-hundred page eBook is worth $45.10. Make sure you expand the hardcover options to find used library copies for $12 after shipping. I very much doubt that research into Victorian England made such leaps and bounds between 1996 and 2008 that it warrants a five-fold price increase.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Academic Resource January 21, 2000
By A Customer
This book is a wonderful resource for any student of the Victorian period. There is detailed information on a tremendous range of subjects that provide a thorough picture of what it was like to be alive in England in the 19th century. The historical context this book provides for reading Victorian literature is invaluable, and it also makes a great reference tool for quick, factual information, like dates, population figures, or other statistics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Done September 17, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have made a very thorough (though amateur) study of the Victorian period, and as such, I have read many reference texts, but I often come back to Dr. Mitchell's book for fun and for its completeness. The way she easily sums up concepts and creates a real picture is engaging and informative. This book is especially good for first timers, but she doesn't stick exclusively to explaining novels, the way some do. Above all, there is a real expression of the hardship of the forgotten working class; their perilous but proud existance, their very "cheap" lives, their "go it alone" attitude. This population made up 3/4th of the country and is antithetical to the nobles and squires often celebrated in Victorian novels. I highly recommend this book.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best for those for whom it is a total introduction March 8, 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book does provide a useful overview, well adapted to settings such as classrooms, where readers are likely to be having their first exposure to the Victorian era.
For those, such as myself, who are adults who have studied or explored the Victorian age in the past, there is nothing really new here, and the organisation and tone of writing, which assumes no previous knowledge and is very much "junior high" level, make it a less than engaging read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It is fine for what it offers
This a text book used in some college class somewhere in America. It is fine for what it offers, a good description of the time and place that it explores.
Published 5 months ago by Walter F. Billings
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed information
Reading the book has been a good experience. The book provides a view into the Victorian life so that it vividly describes also the living and working conditions of the ordinary... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Outi Laine
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Research Tool!
A FANTASTIC research tool for those interested in the Victorian period. I already had substantial background, but this book taught me many facts which were completely new to me. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
If you're looking for a general overview of Victorian England, look no further! This has everything from the clothing they wore, to the slime in the streets, in great detail, but... Read more
Published 18 months ago by boxwood100
5.0 out of 5 stars A first-rate overview for the intelligent reader
Back in the 1950s, a series of useful volumes began to appear under the uniform series title "Everyday Life in [name your period or culture]" which were designed for high school... Read more
Published on November 20, 2012 by Michael K. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything You Need To Know - But Won't Find In Any Other Book
Undoubtedly, this is the best research guide available on Victorian England. It delves into a wide array of topics concerning social mores, politics, education, class system, the... Read more
Published on November 16, 2012 by London Fog
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource on Victorian England
This book is great if you want to learn about life in Victorian England. It covers in depth many topics such as religion (Church of England and Nonconformists), the kinds of jobs... Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by hooked on genealogy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for research
I'm writing a novel which takes place through much of this period and i found the information here most helpful Thank you Sally Mitchell - Thank you
Published on October 7, 2009 by Barbara D. Zambrana
4.0 out of 5 stars Broad, but not deep.
This is an excellent general reference for the workings of life in Victorian England. However, because the subject matter is so broad, the text inevitably can not offer... Read more
Published on September 20, 2009 by David Johnson
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