Victorian suburban society : a study of Deptford and Lewisham
The society that developed in London's suburbs during the nineteenthcentury
is considered a prcxluct of two sets of forces: rapid population
growth, occasioned by much imnigrationj and the spatial sorting of
households into distinctive social areas, mainly along social class
The study is divided into two parts. In Part One the expansion of
two South London suburbs, Deptford and LaNisham, during the period 1836-
71, provides the focus for an evaluation of the relative importance of
various migrant groups entering the study area. Whilst an intra-urban
component is revealed to be of greater importance than imnigration from
the countryside and abroad, attention is drawn to the strong lateral
movement of families moving into the area fron other London suburbs.
However, it is argued that for the historical geographer to simply
quantify each migrant source is inadequate, and an attempt is consequently
made to consider the significance of each migrant group within
the wider context of contemporary social and econanic issues.
Part Two of the ~rk explores the spatial patterns of the Victorian
suburb with reference to the main constructs of u:rban/subu:rban society.
Special importance is attached to divisions based upon social class, and
the changing distribution of differing social classes is described.
Explanation of the distributions observed is based upon a theory of
spatial constraints: incane (and expenditure priorities), the relationship
between home and ~rkplace (including corrmuting facilities and the
special effects of occupation), and the poliCies of landholders in
influencing the quality of new housing developnents, are factors
considered as having influenced the distribution of social classes byimposing constraints of varying force upon residential choice.
Consideration is next given to those societal dimensions of lesser
:importance, and finds a focus in a review of the family and household
itself. Particularly r:;ertinent is the geographical analysis of household
type, the family life cycle, and dorrestic service. Sane special
minority groups in suburban society: the elderly, the widowed, lone
parent households, and the young adult, are given separate treabnenti
and a case study of household persistence and turnover concludes a
comprehensive review of the social geography of the Victorian suburb