First published to wide critical acclaim in 1987, Family Fortunes has become a seminal text in class and gender history, and its influence in the field continues to be extensive today.
The book explores the middle-class family and its place in the development of capitalist society. It argues that gender and class need to be thought about together – that class was always gendered and gender always classed. Divided into three parts, the book covers religion and ideology, economic structure and opportunity, and gender in action across two main case studies: the rural counties of Suffolk and Essex and the industrial town of Birmingham. This third edition contains a new introductory section by Catherine Hall, reflecting on some of the major developments in historical thinking over the last fifteen years and discussing the evolution of key themes such as family, women in the economy and domestic service.
Providing critical insight into the perception of middle-class society and gender relations between 1780 and 1850, this volume is essential reading for students of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British social history.
Acknowledgements Introduction to the third edition Introduction Prologue Setting the scene Part One Religion and Ideology 1 ‘The one thing needful’: religion and the middle class 2 ‘Ye are all one in Christ Jesus’: men, women and religion 3 ‘The nursery of virtue’: domestic ideology and the middle class Part Two Economic Structure and Opportunity 4 ‘A modest competency’: men, women and property 5 ‘A man must act’: men and the enterprise 6 ‘The hidden investment’: women and the enterprise Part Three Everyday Life: Gender in Action 7 ‘Our family is a little world’: family structure and relationships 8 ‘My own fireside’: the creation of the middle-class home 9 ‘Lofty pine and clinging vine’: living with gender in the middle class 10 ‘Improving times’: men, women and the public sphere Epilogue Appendices Notes and references Select bibliography People index Subject index