Industrial and Agrarian revolutions changed the face of Britain, and created new ways of looking at the urban and the rural. This course charts urban and rural change, and how ideas of town and country evolved over this period. How do we explain the new meanings which these environments slowly took on in the British mind? What did the contrasts between the urban and the rural mean for the British people?
Major themes which the course will cover include:
The growth of towns, and their importance in the social structure of the nation.
How agricultural change led to a 'radical' countryside, in which workers tried to reassert their traditional rights.
How the countryside became idealised after the Romantic Movement.
The growth of the Victorian image of the urban world as dangerous and immoral.
Urban spaces as a means of controlling public behaviour.
Literary views of the urban and the rural.
The political meanings of the land, and Land Reform in the 1800s/ ownership vs. access in the 1900s.
Landscape and ideas of Englishness and Britishness.