The Working Class at Home, 1790–1940

Joseph Harley, Vicky Holmes and Laika Nevalainen (eds.)

Palgrave MacMillan, 2022

ISBN: 978-3-030-89273-9

This book examines life in the homes inhabited by the working class over the long nineteenth century. These working-class homes are often imagined as distinctly unhomely spaces, which the inhabitants struggled to fill with even the most basic of furniture, let alone acquire the comforts associated with middle-class domestic space. The concerned reformers of industrialising towns and cities painted a picture of severe deprivation, of rooms that were both cramped yet bare at the same time, and disease-ridden spaces from which their subjects required rescue. It is an image which is not only inadequate, but which also robs working-class people of their agency in creating domestic spaces which allowed for the expression of personal and familial feeling. Bringing together emerging scholars who challenge these ideas and using a range of innovative sources and approaches, this edited collection presents a new understanding of working-class homes. More information here


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