With high mortality rates, it has been assumed that the poor in Victorian and Edwardian Britain did not mourn their dead. Contesting this approach, Julie-Marie Strange studies the expression of grief among the working class, demonstrating that poverty increased - rather than deadened - it. She illustrates the mourning practices of the working classes through chapters addressing care of the corpse, the funeral, the cemetery, commemoration, and high infant mortality rates. The book draws on a broad range of sources to analyse the feelings and behaviours of the labouring poor, using not only personal testimony but also fiction, journalism, and official reports. It concludes that poor people did not only use spoken or written words to express their grief, but also complex symbols, actions and, significantly, silence. This book will be an invaluable contribution to an important and neglected area of social and cultural history.
Review of the hardback: '... this book has a lot to say in delineating working-class attitudes and behaviour and makes a sizeable contribution to our understanding of the subject.' Contemporary Review
Review of the hardback: 'It is impossible to read this book without being moved and caught up in the narrative of the pitiful, tragic, and often deplorable examples, which Strange uses to illustrate her arguments. the book is a highly effective academic treatise, base on a doctoral thesis, and with well constructed and clear points of principle and theory carefully expounded in the introduction.' Northern History
"Julia Marie-Strange presents a wonderful sourcebook as well as a highly critical set of arguments about the death, dying, and loss experiences of the British working classes during the late Victorian period."
Allan Kellehear, University of Bath, Victorian Studies
Series: Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories
Number Of Pages: 306
Published: 9th September 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.45