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Module Reading List

Victorian England: Aristocracy and Democracy, 1865-1901, 2019/20, Semester 2
Professor Simon Green
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Essay 1: Was the Second Reform Act a ‘leap in the dark’ [Lord Derby]


Jonathan Parry, The rise and fall of liberal government in Victorian Britain , pp. 207–217

M. Cowling, 1867 : Disraeli, Gladstone and revolution : the passing of the second reform bill. , chs 7 and 9

F.B. Smith, The making of the Second Reform Bill , esp. chs 5 and 6

A. Briggs, Victorian people : a reassessment of persons and themes, 1851-67. (chs on Lowe, Bright and Disraeli)

R. Harrison, Before the Socialists , chs 3 and 4

H.C.G. Matthew, Gladstone , pp. 120–142

Richard Shannon, Gladstone , vol. 2, chs 1 & 2

R. Blake, The Conservative Party from Peel to Thatcher , ch. 4

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Essay 2: ‘Gladstone’s conservatism reflected his deepest convictions: his Liberalism was driven by events.’ Discuss.


H.C.G. Matthew, Gladstone , chs 5 to 8

Richard Shannon, Gladstone , vol. 1, ch. 1; vol. 2, Epilogue

H.C.G. Matthew, ‘Disraeli, Gladstone and the Politics of mid-Victorian Budgets’, The historical journal. (1979)

J.R. Vincent, The formation of the British Liberal Party , pp. 211–235

J.P. Parry, Democracy and religion : Gladstone and the Liberal Party, 1867-1875 , esp. ch. 3

J.P. Parry, The rise and fall of liberal government in Victorian Britain , ch. 11

M. Bentley, The Climax of Liberal politics : British Liberalism in theory and practice, 1868-1918 , chs 4 and 6

D.A. Hamer, Liberal politics in the age of Gladstone and Rosebery : a study in leadership and policy , chs. 3, 4 and 8

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Essay 3: Why did Queen Victoria’s popularity increase as her power diminished?


J.P. Mackintosh, The British Cabinet , chs 4 and 9

A.J.P. Taylor, ‘Queen Victoria and the Constitution’ in Essays in british history

N. Gash, Reaction and reconstruction in English politics, 1832-1852. , ch. 1

W. Bagehot, The English constitution , chs 3 and 4

C.H. Stuart, ‘The Prince Consort and Ministerial Politics, 1856–95’ in H.R. Trevor-Roper (ed.), Essays in British History

D. Cannadine, ‘the Context, Performance and Meaning of Ritual: the British Monarchy and the “Invention of Tradition”’ in T. Ranger and E. Hobsbawm (eds), The Invention of Tradition

Richard Williams, The contentious crown : public discussion of the British monarchy in the reign of Queen Victoria n, chs 6–8

Simon Heffer, Power and place : the political consequences of King Edward VII , chs 1 & 2

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Essay 4: ‘Empire was unavoidable for the Victorians.’ How far was this true?


T.O. Lloyd, The British Empire , ch. 6–9 (General)

P.J. Cain and A.G. Hopkins, British imperialism : innovation and expansion 1688-1914 (vol. 2) (general)

J. Gallagher and R. Robinson, ‘The Imperialism of Free Trade’, The economic history review. (1953)

J. Gallagher and R. Robinson, Africa and the Victorians. The Official Mind of Imperialism , esp. chs 1 and 15

D.C.M. Platt, ‘The Imperialism of Free Trade: Some Reservations’, The economic history review. (1968); also EcHR, 1973

L.E. Davis and R. Huttenback, Mammon and the Pursuit of Empire , pp. 301–318, see the criticisms of this book by D.C.M. Platt, The economic history review. (1988) and A.G. Hopkins, The journal of imperial and commonwealth history. (1988)

P. Kennedy, The Realities behind Diplomacy , chs 1 and 2

A.N. Porter, ‘Religion and Empire’, The journal of imperial and commonwealth history. (1992)

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Essay 5: What, if anything, was the ‘intellectual aristocracy’ of late Victorian Britain?


Noel Annan, ‘The Intellectual Aristocracy of Late Victorian England’, in J.H. Plumb (ed.), Studies in social history : a tribute to G.M. Trevelyan OR Annan, The dons : mentors, eccentrics and geniuses , Appendix.  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

Thomas Heyek, The transformation of intellectual life in Victorian England , chs 6–8

David Cannadine, G. M. Trevelyan : a life in history , pp. 1–14, 26–38, 59–65 and 95–105

David Cannadine, The decline and fall of the British aristocracy , ch. 6

Adrian Wooldridge, Measuring the mind : education and psychology in England, c.1860-c.1990 , ch. 7.  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

Harold Perkin, The Rise of Professional Society , chs 1 and 4

Geoffrey Searle, A new England? : peace and war, 1886-1918 , ch. 16

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Essay 6: Why was Ireland denied Home Rule (after c. 1868)?


J.C. Beckett, The making of modern Ireland 1603-1923 , chs 18–21 (General)


F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland since the Famine , Pt. II (General)

R. Foster, Modern Ireland 1600-1972 , chs. 14 o 17

E.D. Steele, Irish land and British politics : tenant-right and nationality, 1865-1870 , ch. 1.  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

E.D. Steele, ‘Gladstone, Irish Violence and Conciliation’ in A. Cosgrove and D. McCartney, Studies in Irish history : presented to R. Dudley Edwards

A.T.Q. Stewart, The Narrow Ground , chs 4 and 5

David Hempton, Religion and political culture in Britain and Ireland, from the Glorious Revolution to the decline of empire , ch. 5

David Hempton (and Myrtle Hill), Evangelical Protestantism in Ulster society, 1740-1890 , ch. 9

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Essay 7: Assess the growth of ‘welfare state’ in Britain to c. 1900.


M. Bruce, The Coming of the Welfare State , chs 3 & 4 (General)


D. Fraser, The Evolution of the British Welfare State (General)

H. Pelling, Popular Politics and Society in late Victorian Britian , ch. 1

P. Thane, ‘The Working Class and State Welfare’, The historical journal. (1984)

A. Briggs, ‘The Welfare State in Historical Perspective’, European journal of sociology. , vol. 2, 1961 (Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva) OR Briggs, Collected Essays , vol. 2, ch. 9

O. MacDonagh, Early Victorian Government , chs 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8

W.L. Burn, The age of equipoise : a study of the mid-Victorian generation , ch. 4

S. Checkland, British public policy 1776-1939 : an economic, social and political perspective , chs 4 to 8

R.J. Lambert, ‘A Victorian National Health Service: State Vaccination’, The historical journal. (1962)

Gertrude Himmelfarb, Poverty and compassion : the moral imagination of the late Victorians , Books 1–3

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Essay 8: Did Urbanisation Secularise Britain? (c. 1850–1900)


Callum Brown, ‘Did Urbanisation Secularise Britain? ’, Urban History Yearbook. , 1988, pp. 1–14.  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

S.J.D. Green, Religion in the age of decline : organisation and experience in industrial Yorkshire, 1870-1920 , chs 2, 4, 6 and 8

E.R. Wickham, Church and people in an industrial city , chs 3 & 4

Patrick Joyce, Work, Society and Politics , ch. 7. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.

Clyde Binfield, So down to prayers : studies in English nonconformity, 1780-1920 , ch. 7

David Hempton, Religion and political culture in Britain and Ireland, from the Glorious Revolution to the decline of empire , ch. 6

Jeffrey Cox, The English churches in a secular society : Lambeth, 1870-1930 , chs 1, 3 & 4

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Essay 9: Why was there no socialism in later Victorian Britain?


H. Pelling, Social geography of British elections,1885-1910 (for reference)

H. Pelling, ‘The Concept of a Labour Aristocracy’, in idem, Popular Politics and Society in Late Victorian Britain

P. Thompson, Socialists, Liberals and Labour : the struggle for London, 1885-1914 , esp. chs 1–4

R. McKibbin, ‘Why was there no Marxism in Great Britain? ’, English historical review. (1984)

D. Howell, British workers and the Independent Labour Party, 1888-1906 , esp. chs 1 and 2

E.J. Hobsbawm, Labouring Men , ch. 15

John Foster, Class struggle and the Industrial Revolution : early industrial capitalism in three English towns , ch. 7

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Essay 10: Evaluate the ‘new woman’ of late-Victorian Britain


E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire , ch. 8

Gertrude Himmelfarb, The de-moralization of society : from Victorian virtues to modern values , chs 3 & 4

Harold Perkin, The Rise of professional Society , pp. 79–80, 97–9

K. Theodore Hoppen, The mid-Victorian generation, 1846-1886 , ch. 10

Pat Jalland, Women, marriage and politics 1860-1914 (General)

J. Perkin, Women and marriage in nineteenth-century England , esp. pp. 50–75

L. Davidoff, ‘The Family in Britain’, in F.M.L. Thompson (ed.), The Cambridge social history of Britain 1750-1950 , vol. 2

R.J. Morris, ‘Men, Women and Property: The Reform of the Married Women’s property Act 1870’, in F.M.L. Thompson (ed.), Landowners, capitalists, and entrepreneurs : essays for Sir John Habakkuk

This list was last updated on 21/07/2010