The Victorians and Before: Britain, 1783-1901

Who were the Victorians? Sometimes they are credited with inventing modern Britain, with the industrial revolution, urbanisation, democratisation, the transport network, and the law and order system listed among their achievements. Yet at the same time, they exhibited attitudes to gender, sexuality, race, politics, and poverty which would be considered shocking and disgraceful by modern standards.

This module introduces you to a fascinating and contradictory period in British history. You will discover nineteenth-century Britain by exploring its most important and contentious spaces, such as the factory, the workhouse, the prison, the city, the railway carriage, and the home. You will find out what life was really like in the long nineteenth century by studying a range of primary sources, including novels, press reports, paintings, cartoons, and autobiographies.