Defining the Victorian Nation: Class, Race, Gender and the British Reform Act of 1867

Defining the Victorian Nation: Class, Race, Gender and the British Reform Act of 1867


By (author) Catherine Hall, By (author) Keith McClelland, By (author) Jane Rendall


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  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 24mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 3 July 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521576539
  • ISBN 13: 9780521576536
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 15 b/w illus.
  • Sales rank: 1,665,073

Product description

Defining the Victorian Nation offers a fresh perspective on one of the most significant pieces of legislation in nineteenth-century Britain. Catherine Hall, Keith McClelland and Jane Rendall demonstrate that the Second Reform Act of 1867 was marked not only by extensive controversy about the extension of the vote, but also by new concepts of masculinity and the masculine voter, the beginnings of the movement for women's suffrage, and a parallel debate about the meanings and forms of national belonging. The chapters in this book draw on recent developments in cultural, social and gender history, broadening the study of nineteenth-century British political history and integrating questions of nation and empire. Fascinating illustrations illuminate the argument, and a detailed chronology, biographical notes and selected bibliography offer further support to the student reader. Students and scholars in history, women's studies, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies will find this book invaluable.

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Review quote

'... a wonderfully useful little book, one that deserves a central place on the bookshelves and syllabi of historians of nineteenth-century British politics.' History Workshop Journal 'Its import for work in race and ethnicity lies in the ways that neither is examined in isolation from other factors, such as the increasingly unfashionable structural dimensions of class. Instead they are examined speculatively and in relation to actual historical events and conditions.' Ethnic and Racial Studies ' ... the authors of Defining the Victorian Nation have given parliamentary history a chance to widen its horizons that parliamentary historians will disdain at their peril.' Parliamentary History '... Hall, McClelland and Rendall do give an enriched picture of Victorian political assumptions in the 1860s in a book that is sure to be widely adopted by Victorian cultural historians ... This is an interesting, thought-provoking volume ... this is a useful book that brings together a wide range of new scholarship in cultural history and shows how it may be used to illuminate traditional political history.' Thomas William Heyck, Northwestern University

Table of contents

Preface; Chronology; Introduction; 1. England's greatness, the working man; 2. The citizenship of women and the Reform Act of 1867; 3. The nation within and without; Appendix: voting qualifications, reform proposals, and the effects of electoral reform 1832-1868; Cast of characters; Bibliography.