As nineteenth-century Britain became increasingly urbanized and
industrialized, the number of children living in towns grew
rapidly. At the same time, Horn considers the increasing divisions
within urban society, not only between market towns and major
manufacturing and trading centers, but within individual towns, as
rich and poor became more segregated.
During the Victorian period, public attitudes toward children
and childhood shifted dramatically, often to the detriment of those
at the lower end of the social scale--including paupers and
juvenile delinquents. Drawing on original research, including
anecdotes, first-hand accounts, and a wealth of photographs, The
Victorian Town Child describes in detail the changing lives of all
classes of Victorian town children, from those of prosperous
business and professional families to working-class families, where
unemployment and overcrowding were particular problems. Horn also
examines the issues of juvenile labor and exploitation, how factory
work and education were combined, how crime and punishment were
dealt with among children, and the changes in health and infant
death rates over the period.
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