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Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain Paperback – 5 Dec 2011
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"A big fresco of the Victorian years, Susie Steinbach's volume depicts the culture, the lifestyles, as well as the social and political interactions that characterised an era when Great Britain was the most powerful nation in the world." - Ricerche di Storia Politica
"Understanding the Victorian by Susie L. Steinback…fills in the blanks of standard texts by looking at the period (ca. 1820-1914) topically with chapters on living space, consumption, class, gender, arts and entertainment, sexuality, religion, and science…I can wholeheartedly recommend Understanding the Victorians as required reading for studens and a useful read for their instructors or for anyone interested in the period." – Barbara Brandon Schnorrenberg, Anglican and Episcopal History
About the Author
Susie L. Steinbach teaches at Hamline University. She is the author of Women in England 1760-1914: A Social History and has written widely on Victorian history, with a particular emphasis on gender and the law.
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Top Customer Reviews
Susie Steinbach's primary audience is American, which leads her sometimes to explain things which are obvious to the British -- or perhaps not. In the UK we see the extended reign of Queen Victoria through a particular set of glasses. The reality is often quite different. Steinbach is not trying to prove a point here -- though her book could well be read hand in hand with Inventing the Victorians -- but she works hard to show us a world which is quite different from Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians. Much of our modern life began in the 19th century, including our obsession with shopping, our concern to distinguish the 'deserving poor' from the 'undeserving', which comes up at every General Election, though never in those terms, and our fascination with gruesome crimes.
The text is well supported with apposite and sometimes quite challenging images.
Speaking personally, this book came as something of an enlightenment to me. An awful lot of the things I thought were 'modern' -- products of the 20th century, if not products of the modernist movement -- turn out to have been alive and active as social movements in the Victorian era. I came away recognising that, try as we might to distance ourselves from Victorianism, we are in many ways the product of that age.
Well worth reading.
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