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Title: Conceptualising the ‘Perfect’ Family in Late Nineteenth-Century Philanthropic Institutions
Authors: Taylor, Steven J.
First Published: 4-Apr-2019
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Citation: Taylor, S, Conceptualising the ‘Perfect’ Family in Late Nineteenth-Century Philanthropic Institutions, 'Family Life in Britain, 1650–1910', Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019, pp. 155-176
Abstract: Steve Taylor turns to the Waifs and Strays Society to rethink the nature, shape, and meaning of the working-class Victorian family. In a period when significant numbers of children were fostered for a variety of reasons by relatives, friends and other individuals it is hardly surprising that there was considerable discussion around the fragility of family units, ‘nomadic’ husbands, alcoholic parents, wandering wives, and working parents. At the core of these observations was an underlying concern that children were being failed by family and kin alike. Taylor examines how concerns about the young and their status in working families were represented in philanthropic institutions by middle-aged white men. His chapter picks up one of the main themes of this volume which is the idea that the shape and meaning of family were essentially imagined.
DOI Link: 10.1007/978-3-030-04855-6_8
ISBN: 978-3-030-04855-6
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Historical Studies

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