The Family and Social Trends: Documentary Sources

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1750-1914: The Family and Social Trends: Documentary Sources

Isabella Beeton, The Book of Household Management (London:S.O. Beeton, 1861)—A compilation of articles Beeton published in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, instructing women on the intricacies of housewifery and motherhood.

Friederich Engels, Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England (Leipzig: Wigand, 1845); translated by Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky as The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 (New York: Lovell, 1887)—Written by one of the founders of the communist movement, this work describes the poverty and despair workers faced in Manchester, the great industrial city of northern England.

Emile Guillaumin, La Vie d’un simple (Paris: Stoke, 1904); translated by Margaret Holden as The Life of a Simple Man (New York: Stokes, 1920)—A novel that depicts in realistic detail the family life and material conditions of a nineteenth-century French sharecropper.

Edward Humphries, “A Ranker’s Ramblings, the Unpublished Memoirs of Major E. S. Humphries”(n.d.)—An autobiography by a British army officer, who described his teenage employment as an errand boy in London in 1904; first published in The Annals of Labor: Autobiographies of British Working-Class People, 1820–1920, edited by John Burnett (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1974), pp. 209–214.

Henrik Ibsen, Et Dukkehjem (Copenhagen: Gylden Boghandels, 1879); translated by William Archer as A Doll’s House (London:Unwin, 1889)—A well-known play about middle-class marriage and the difficult choice a woman makes between social expectations and self-fulfillment.

Stephanie Jullien, “Letters” (written in 1833)—Written by a bourgeois Parisian, these letters reveal the intense anguish involved in selecting a marriage partner;first published in Victorian Women: A Documentary Account of Women’s Lives in Nineteenth-Century England, France, and the United States, edited by Erna Olafson Hellerstein, Leslie Parker Hume, and Karen Offen (Stanford University Press, 1981), pp. 144–149.

“A Manchester Housewife’s Weekly Budget”(written in 1833)—The income and expenses for a working-class English family; published in Hard Times: Human Documents of the Industrial Revolution, edited by Edgar Royston Pike (New York: Praeger, 1966), pp.52–54; also includes several other useful documents from the British Parliament’s investigation into the lives of the working classes.

Magdelan Pember Reeves, Round About a Pound a Week London: Bell, 1913)—Based on Reeves’s 1909 lecture on “The Economic Disintegration of the Family,”this book depicts the everyday life of the British working poor, describing housing, budgets, food preparation, and child-care practices.

Alexander Schneer, Uber die Zustande der arbeltenden Klassen in Ereslau [On the Conditions of the Working Class in Breslau] (Berlin, 1845)—A collection of interviews with local doctors and government officials about the lifestyles, living conditions, and health of the German working classes;translated selections of this work were first published in Documents in European Economic History, Volume 1:The Process of Industrialization, edited by Sidney Pollard and Colin Holmes (New York: St.Martin’s,1968), pp. 497–501, which also includes other useful documents relating to the social lives of the European working classes.

Flora Tristan, Le Tour de France: journal inedit (1843-1844) (Paris, 1973)—Observations by French feminist and social reformer about working-class life in France; excerpts in English were first published in Victorian Women: A Documentary Account of Women’s Lives in Nineteenth-Century England, France, and the United States (1981), pp.471–473.

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The Family and Social Trends: Documentary Sources

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