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The City and the Environment in Victorian and Edwardian Britain - 20 credits (HST880)

The module investigates an era when the city was ‘terra incognita’, a place of ‘dreadful delight’, or was seen as the ‘modern Babylon’. It looks at the causes and consequences of urbanisation in England and Wales between the 1830s and the outbreak of the First World War. The city provided a focus for continuity and change, and was a centre for intense social and political debate as well as reform. Urbanisation compounded existing social problems and gave rise to new ones as well as reshaping attitudes. Although no two cities were the same, the module explores the growth and development, similarities and differences of Victorian and Edwardian cities, and examines how they were perceived. Those who lived, played, and worked in them, and how their social and physical problems were tackled and defined will be studied to give a better understanding of the nature and consequences of nineteenth- and early-twentieth century urbanisation.