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Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution -

Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution

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This is a unique account of working-class childhood during the British industrial revolution, first published in 2010. Using more than 600 autobiographies written by working men of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Jane Humphries illuminates working-class childhood in contexts untouched by conventional sources and facilitates estimates of age at starting work, social mobility, the extent of apprenticeship and the duration of schooling. The classic era of industrialisation, 1790-1850, apparently saw an upsurge in child labour. While the memoirs implicate mechanisation and the division of labour in this increase, they also show that fatherlessness and large subsets, common in these turbulent, high-mortality and high-fertility times, often cast children as partners and supports for mothers struggling to hold families together. The book offers unprecedented insights into child labour, family life, careers and schooling. Its images of suffering, stoicism and occasional childish pleasures put the humanity back into economic history and the trauma back into the industrial revolution.

Product code: 9780521248969

ISBN 9780521248969
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H226xW150xS23
No. Of Pages 454
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Cambridge Studies in Economic History - Second Series
This 2010 book uses the autobiographies of working men of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in order to shed new light on child labour, family life, careers and schooling during the British industrial revolution. It provides a unique account of working-class childhood in times and places untouched by conventional sources.