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 the family.
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.
Introduction to the third edition
Introducing James Luckcock of Birmingham – What was the English middle class? – Concepts and methods
Setting the scene
Places: The town – Birmingham – The countryside – Essex and Suffolk
People: The family shop – the Cadburys of Birmingham – The family pen – the Taylors of Essex
Part One RELIGION AND IDEOLOGY
1 ‘The one thing needful’: religion and the middle class
Church and chapel activity – The Evangelical revival and serious Christianity – Church against Dissent – The religious community
2 ‘Ye are all one in Christ Jesus’: men, women and religion
Doctrines on manliness – Doctrines on femininity – The ministry – The minister’s wife – John Angell James: ‘bishop’ of Birmingham – Church organization: women voting and women speaking – Laymen and women
3 ‘The nursery of virtue’: domestic ideology and the middle class
The Queen Caroline affair – Middle-class readers and writers – William Cowper and Hannah More – Local writers on separate spheres – Domestic ideologies of the 1830s and 1840s
Part Two ECONOMIC STRUCTURE AND OPPORTUNITY
4 ‘A modest competency’: men, women and property
Enterprise organization – Land and capital – Enterprise finance – Providing for dependants – The interdependence of enterprise, family and friends – The role of marriage in the enterprise – Training for the enterprise – Retirement from the enterprise
5 ‘A man must act’: men and the enterprise
Middle-class men and occupations – The search for a ‘sound commercial education’ – Commerce and trade – Banks and banking – Manufacture – Farming – The professions – The salaried
6 ‘The hidden investment’: women and the enterprise
Women and property – Women’s contribution to the enterprise – The education of women and its effects – Women as teachers – Women as innkeepers – Women in trade – The marginal place of women in the economy – Women, men and occupation identity – How did women survive?
Part Three EVERYDAY LIFE: GENDER IN ACTION
7 ‘Our family is a little world’: family structure and relationships
The role of marriage in family formation – Fatherhood – Motherhood – Children – Brothers and sisters – The role of wider kin
8 ‘My own fireside’: the creation of the middle-class home
What was a home? – The separation of home from work – The meaning of the garden – The lay-out of the home – Running the home – The question of servants
9 ‘Lofty pine and clinging vine’: living with gender in the middle class
Manner and gentility – Changing attitudes to sexuality – Mobility and gender – Gender and the social occasion – Gender as appearance
10 ‘Improving times’: men, women and the public sphere
James Bisset of Birmingham – Voluntary associations – Philanthropic societies – Leisure and pleasure – Men, women and citizenship
1 Three poems by local authors – 2 Sources for the local study – 3 Tables
Notes and references