We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

The Mid-Victorian Generation 1846-1886

K. Theodore Hoppen

Publication Date - August 2000

ISBN: 9780198731993

824 pages

Retail Price to Students: $75.00

A highly original account of forty pivotal years in British history


This third volume in the New Oxford History of England covers the period from the repeal of the Corn Laws to the dramatic failure of Gladstone's first Home Rule Bill. In his magisterial study of the mid-Victorian generation, Theodore Hoppen identifies three defining themes: "established industrialism"--the growing acceptance that factory life and manufacturing had come to stay; "multiple national identities" of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom; and "interlocking spheres," which the author uses to illuminate the formation of public culture in the period. This original and authoritative book will define these pivotal forty years in British history for the next generation.

About the Author(s)

Theodore K. Hoppen is Professor in History at the University of Hull.


"[A] splendid volume....Theodore Hoppen's book will define our views of mid-Victorian society for the next two or three generations, and well it should. It is a book written from deep knowledge, wide reading, and sparkling historical vision; students and scholars will gain much from reading it."--Albion

"[A] rich and nuanced picture of Britain between 1846 and 1886...Hoppen writes with uncommon fluency, grace and wit."--David Cannadine, Columbia University

"[A] critical review of recent conclusions among social and economic historians..."--Times Literary Supplement

"[A] qualified triumph...episodes of brilliant exposition and historical insight."--Historical Journal

"Hoppen has succeeded in providing a solid, valuable reference that will serve...as an essential source on the mid-Victorian age."--History

"Those new to the field will learn a great deal from this [book], and will be given a great deal to think about. Those who think they know the field may well want to think again."--Journal of Modern History

Table of Contents

    List of Plates
    List of Maps
    List of Tables
    Acknowledgements to Illustrations
    1. The Agrarian Interest: Agricultural ups and downs - Rural society
    2. The Middle Sort of People: Numbers, experiences, anxieties - Professional persons - Lower borderlands - Urban contexts
    3. Workers by Hand: Numbers, work, poverty - Respectability, adjustment, autonomy - Standards of living
    4. The Nature of the State: What should the State do? - Centre and localities - What the State did
    5. Parties, Government, Policies 1846-1855: Corn Law repeal - Parties - Governments - Imperial and foreign affairs
    6. Crimean War and Indian Mutiny: War against Russia - Revolt in India
    7. Palmerston and After, 1855-1868: Palmerston at last - Conservative interlude - Palmerston again and Gladstone rising - Perturbations, 1865-1868 - Imperial and foreign affairs
    8. Reform and Electoral Politics: Questions of reform - Reform Acts 1867/1868 - Elections and the electoral system
    9. A Maturing Economy: Revolutions, climaterics, productivity - Industries, railways services - A trading nation - Investing at home and overseas - No longer at full steam?
    10. Living and Spending: Families, sex, relationships - Houses, domesticity, making ends meet - Food and clothes - Shops, pubs, and having a good time
    11. The Business of Culture: Preliminary - Literature - Music - Painting - Architecture
    12. Godly People: Denominational landscapes - Who they were and what they did
    13. The Evolutionary Moment: Spencer, Darwin, and others - Progress, dissolution, hopes, fears - Matters of belief - matters of imagination
    14. A British Nation? The Experiences of Scotland and Wales: Britain, a lop-sided affair - Scotland: society and religion - Wales: religion and change - Scotland: Identities, regions, land - Wales: land and politics - Ambivalent states
    15. The Island of Ireland: Contexts - The Great Famine - A post-famine world: land, religion, politics
    16. Gladstone and Disraeli 1868-1880: Gladstone sprinting - Disraeli strolling - Foreign and imperial affairs - Another Liberal tide
    17. Shifts and Realignments: Leaders, parties, policies - Foreign and imperial affairs - Irish questions
    List of Cabinets

Related Titles