By Neil Tranter
Neil Tranter attracts at the fresh surge of educational curiosity during this subject to supply a concise, updated survey of a dramatic switch within the cultural lifetime of Victorian and Edwardian Britain: the unconventional transformation within the volume and nature of Britain's involvement in activities. Neil Tranter examines key questions reminiscent of the significant gains of this new wearing tradition, how and why it unfold, and the industrial outcomes of this cultural switch. He additionally appears at who the particpants have been, and to what quantity ladies have been enthusiastic about this wearing "revolution."
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Extra resources for Sport, Economy and Society in Britain 1750-1914 (New Studies in Economic and Social History)
Such limited faith in the hegemonic powers of sport as there was among the social elite was almost certainly further eroded by the way in which working-class sport evolved in the course of the later Victorian and Edwardian periods. Historians continue to dispute the scale and causation of player and spectator misconduct in working-class sport, particularly in soccer, the sport most prone to disorder. Inter-club Welsh rugby matches, it has been claimed, were frequently marred by violence among spectators and grounds often closed by the game's authorities as punishment for crowd disturbances (Williams, 1988: 131-2).
Even in cricket, the sport most lauded for its potential for bonding the different social groups, in practice class distinctions were rigidly preserved and perhaps even reinforced (Sandiford, 1994: 80, 165). Control and membership of the MCC and the first-class English county clubs remained the exclusive privilege of the social elites. At humbler levels of the game, in the clubs they joined, in the social composition of the clubs they played against and in the way they played, cricketers were invariably sharply divided on class lines (Williams, 1989: 116-17, 129-30, 138-9).
4 A conspiracy of the elites? Underlying the 'revolution' which occurred in the extent and character of sporting activity during the Victorian and Edwardian eras was a complex mix of forces which made it possible for a new sporting culture to emerge. One of these was rising standards of nutrition which supplied the energy needed for more regular participation in physical recreation (Vamplew, 1988a, 11). A second was the growing availability of land on which to play, itself a combined result of the spaciousness of the new suburbs, the greater provision of public parks and playing fields by local authorities and private philanthropists and, particularly in the case of golf, the falling cost of marginal agricultural land caused by the late nineteenth-century decline in food prices (Allison, 1980: 12; Lowerson, 1989a: 191-2; 1993: 16; Sandiford, 1994: 54).