A New History of Penrith
Book 5: Penrith in the Nineteenth Century - the Victorian Town
‘Penrith in the Nineteenth Century: Chapters on the Victorian Town’ is the fifth volume in a ground-breaking, long-range history of a quintessential English market town.
In this collection of essays Michael Mullett, an Internationally acclaimed historian of early modern Europe, explores the transformation of Penrith from a manorial possession into a self-governing urban community and a flagship in Cumbria of the heroic Victorian ‘Age of Improvement’.
The book records the progress of modernisation in Victorian Penrith, from the arrival of the railway to the provision of clean and safe water and hygienic sewerage, of professional policing and street lighting, of rapid and extensive educational advances, of widespread reading habits, welfare and health provision and a rich cultural, religious, sporting and social life.
Yet social progress was opposed by selfish vested interests, and crime continued to flourish, with a frightening pattern of violence, murder and larceny, while the arrival of the railway – the herald of progress – brought with it the ‘navvy riots’, and ancient tribal savagery coming to the surface. The narrative of Victorian Penrith, then, is as complex as is the human condition itself and it is ably told in this deeply-researched and attractively-written study.
Paperback; 210 x 148mm
Some black and white photographs