Work – Writing Lives


There is a huge amount of studies of the social history of work. Here is a sample. Please contact [email protected] with further suggestions.


Barringer, Tim J. Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2005.

Belchem, John and Neville Kirk. Languages of Labour. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997.

Burnett, John ed. Useful Toil: Autobiographies of Working People from the 1820s to the 1920s London: Routledge, 1994.

Burnett, J. Idle Hands: The Experience of Unemployment, 1790- 1990. London, Routledge 1994.

Christmas, William J. The Lab’ring Muses; Work, Writing and the Social Order in English Plebeian Poetry, 1730–1830. Newark, DE: UP Delaware, 2001.

Fernandez, Jean. Victorian Servants, Class, and the Politics of Literacy. London: Routledge, 2010

Hall, David. Working Lives: The Forgotten Voices of Britain’s Post-War Working Class. London: Bantam Press, 2012.

Humphries, Jane. Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. (Introduction: )

Joyce, Patrick, ed. The Historical Meanings of Work. Cambridge. Cambridge UP, 1997.

Kirk, John and Christine Wall. Work and Identity: Historical and Cultural Contexts. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 [electronic resource]. (Introduction: )

Pinchbeck, Ivy. Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution, 1750-1850. 1930. London: Virago, 1985.

Steedman, Carolyn. Labours Lost. Domestic Service and the Making of Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. (Prologue: )

Steedman, Carolyn. Master and Servant. Love and Labour in the English Industrial Age. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. (Prologue: )

Todd, Selina. ‘Domestic Service and Class Relations in Britain, 1900-1950.’ Past and Present 203.1 (2009): 181-204.

Todd, Selina. Young Women, Work, and Family in England 1918-1950. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005.


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