The middle years of Queen Victoria’s reign saw huge social changes with the rise of the middle classes, the introduction of compulsory education and the growth of the labour movement. The Great Exhibition brought a taste of the exotic to the masses, and the London Underground was opened. Life for the poorest was affected by the work of the Board of Health, while the middle classes developed elaborate etiquette and the art of housekeeping with the help of Mrs Beeton. Mid-Victorian Britain explains how these changes affected family life in Britain, from matchgirls, prostitutes and workhouses to tea parties, jet mourning jewellery and the leisure revolution.
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