In the first quarter of the nineteenth century the British people began to examine the previously unquestioned links between progress and prosperity, having discovered that economic growth was not automatically benign. Orthodoxies were challenged and doubts raised: many believed they were living in an era of great flux. Their responses were to prompt manifold change. In this highly readable book, Professor Harrison traces the relative features of the aristocracy, the middle class and the labouring classes during this formative period. He identifies the moral and religious beliefs which motivated late Victorians, examines their concerns about health education and the condition of the poor, and shows how, by the end of the period, more Britons were politically active - amongst them suffragettes, unionists and socialists - than ever before. He draws heavily on the recollections and literature of the people themselves to place late Victorian Britain firmly in its social and political context.