By the late nineteenth century, the city had become the dominant social environment of Britain, with the majority of the population living in large cities, often with over 100, 000 inhabitants. The central concern of this book, first published in 1976, is to assess how successful the late Victorians were in creating a stimulating social environment whilst these developing cities were being transformed into modern industrial and commercial centres. Using Bristol as a case study, Helen Meller analyses the new relationships brought about by mass urbanisation, between city and citizen, environment and society. The book considers a variety of important features of the Victorian city, in particular the development of the main cultural institutions, the provision of leisure facilities by voluntary societies and the expansion of activities such as music, sport and commercial entertainment. Comparative examples are drawn from other cities, which illustrate the common social and cultural values of an urbanised nation. This is a very interesting title, of great relevance to students and academics of town planning, and the history and development of the modern city.
Preface; 1. Introduction 2. Bristol in the Late Nineteenth Century 3. The City and its Cultural Institutions 4. Bristol’s Leading Citizens – a Governing Elite? 5. Municipal Facilities for Leisure and Pleasure 6. The ‘Civilizing Mission’ to the Poor 7. Socio-Religious Provisions for Leisure 1890-1914 8. Urbanization and Leisure – The Secular Culture of City and Suburb 9. Social Development and the City; Abbreviations; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index