Housing in Urban Britain 1780-1914
Why did slums and suburbs develop simultaneously? Did the capitalist system produce these, and were class antagonisms to blame? Why did the Victorians believe there was a housing problem, and who or what created it? What housing solutions were attempted, and how successfully? These are amongst the central questions addressed by social and urban historians in recent years, and their arguments and analyses are reviewed here. The history of housing between 1780 and 1914 encapsulates many problems associated with the transition from a largely rural to an overwhelmingly urban nation. The unprecedented pace of this transition imposed immense tensions within society, with implications for the urban environment and for local and national government. Housing is central to an understanding of the social, economic, political and cultural forces in nineteenth-century history; this book is an ideal introduction to the topic.