A Small Selection of Books relating to Industry and Slums of Victorian Britain
Updated: Jun 17
The Blackest Streets Sarah Wise
History of a London Slum. Local History at its best
Sybil Benjamin Disraeli
The novel that introduced the notion of 'Two Nations, ie the Rich and the Poor.
This sentimental novel looks back to a Golden Age (in nostalgia only) when the country was One People, yet future Prime Minister Disraeli brought attention to the conditions of the poor in mid nineteenth century Britain. The book had a wide impact.
Hard Times Charles Dickens
Dickens only novel set in the industrial North, in his fictional creation of 'Coketown'. As with Disraeli's novel 'Hard Times' had a massive impact on the nation's changing attitudes. Thuis is arguably the most hard hitting of all Dickens' writings about the evils of Victorian Society as he saw them
North and South Elizabeth Gaskell
Another great Victorian novel exploring the difference between industrial masters ant their workers.
The Classic Slum: Salford Robert Roberts
Although talking about the first years of the 20th century this classic account and analysis remains the best available book on English slums of this general period.
Behemoth Joshua Freeman
The story of how factory manufactured goods replaced those of the old cottage industries.
Most general histories of the Period contain references to these topics.
See earlier listings and in particular Simon Heffer's 'High Minds'