Horn, Pamela. High Society: The English Social Élite, 1880-1914.

Stroud, UK: Alan Sutton, 1992.

Horn is a very well-regarded author in the field of 19th-century social history at all its levels, but here she restricts herself to the uppermost levels and only in the last generation, when the Prince of Wales was having a decided effect on people’s attitudes toward “Victorianism” and the Great War was just over the horizon.

As usual, her approach here is topical, including chapters on the “daily round” of men and women, the rituals of the drawing room and the levée, the role of sports among those with nothing much else to do, how the upper class dabbled in imperial politics and warfare, and the part the servant class (the largest single employment category in the country late in the century) played in making it possible for their masters to live the way they chose. She quotes heavily (again, as usual) from contemporary diaries and later autobiographies and almost everything is footnoted, which will enable students to enhance their knowledge even further.

Published in: on 25 November 2011 at 1:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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