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EH3105/EH3605
Culture and Society in the English Town

Staff contact: Dr. Paul Elliott

The module will begin by considering patterns of urban growth and the changes which took place in the urban system over the century. We will then consider the social structure of towns and the trend towards a more polarised society, and the tensions which resulted. Rapid urban growth created new problems of urban government, and an important theme will be studying the success of failure of urban authorities to respond to these challenges. Urban culture blossomed in this period, often known as the 'urban renaissance', and a large element of the course will study the architectural developments and the institutions of sociability, conviviality and improvement in which this 'renaissance' took place. Hogarth's engraving offer vivid and detailed images of urban life and these will provide the basis for considering questions such as the position of women in towns, the criticisms levelled against urban society and the customs and pastimes of both rich and poor.

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Last updated: 15 October 2002
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