The Age of Improvement, 1783-1867 (Silver Library) Paperback – 21 Oct 1999
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
'An excellent account of one major aspect of English history.'
Economic History Review
"An accessible, straightforward and perceptive introduction to late Hanoverian and early Victorian British History."Miles Taylor, King's College, London
From the Back Cover
"He takes for granted that there is only one history of England and not a basic course of political and party history with a few side-dishes on social conditions, literature, the arts, etc."
"Eric Hobsbawm, New Statesman
""An excellent account of one major aspect of English history. It is in the mingling of political and social history so that each adds depth to the other that Professor Briggs s great strength and individuality are found..."
"Economic History Review
""The title alone is enough to recommend it"
"The Age of Improvement was first published in hardback in 1959 as part of Longman s prestigious A History of England series before being reissued in paperback in 1979. This remarkable book has long established itself as a classic of modern historical writing. With sales now reaching almost 100,000 copies the book been very widely read and quoted and has had a unique influence on teaching and research. Now, a further twenty years on, the book has been thoroughly revised and updated throughout - it is sure to be welcomed by a new generation of readers.
The Second Edition draws on the great volume of new research since the book first appeared - not least in the now flourishing field of Victorian Studies . Lord Briggs has made his own substantial contribution to this new research, reflected in his prodigious list of publications covering local history, history from below, the history of cities, the history of food and drink, the history of health, and the history of things .
See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book is primarily a socio-political history and in England power has traditionally rested in the hands of the landowners. At the time of the French Revolution very few members of Parliament believed in democracy. To both the conservative(Tory) and liberal(Whig) elements in the English Parliament the English Constitution was thought to be the best because it was government run not by the people but government run by those most qualified to run government . As the nineteenth-century progressed, however, it became impossible to deny a growing and increasingly wealthy middle class its say on election day. Change did happen but it happened very differently in England than in continental Europe. In a time when other European nations were experiencing violent revolutions England remained relatively stable and Briggs attributes this relative calm to a consistently strong English economy --for a time the worlds strongest. Many found the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 (which opened the way for free trade) to be the most significant legislature of the century. Reformist leaders and movements became popular during times of recession and the 19th century saw reforms in every area of life but reform in England was always a slow and deliberate process and reformist movements faded from the national consciousness during times of recovery. The 1830's saw the deepest recessions so it is not surprising that it was in that decade that the first major constitutional reform was passed extending the right to vote to the middle class. Many conservatives feared the move toward democracy would mean the end of England but in 1867 a second major consitutional reform extended the right to vote to the working classes. Political leaders were more often than not moderates whose main task was to maintain a balance between the various elements of Parliament which included Tories, Whigs, and Radicals. Throughout the period government like everything else was undergoing vast changes. Democracy presented a challenge to English political tradition and Darwin presented a challenge to English belief systems but the triumph of the age was perhaps its allegiance to balance and moderation in all things which was in part due to the Evangelical spirit of the time and in part due to the Utilitarian spirit popularized by legislative and law reformer Jeremy Bentham.
Briggs paints a portrait of an England that sees itself as the pinnacle of civilization. The age was defined differently by its optimists and its pessimists but Briggs sets down four main features that defined both the champions and the critics of the era: work, seriousness, respectabilty, self-help.
Briggs quotes extensively from the prominent men and women of the day(political and cultural figures) to give us an idea of how the Victorians viewed themselves and their era.
The Age of Improvement
Chapter 1 :Economy and Society in the 1780's
Chapter 2: Politics and Government on the Eve of the French Revolution
Chapter 3: The Impact of War
Chapter 4:The Politics of Transition
Chapter 5: Reform
Chapter 6: Social Cleavage
Chapter 7:Britain and the World Overseas
Chapter 8: The Balance of Interests
Chapter 9: Victorianism
Chapter 10: The Leap in the Dark
Look for similar items by category