Open Access
Drinking in Victorian and Edwardian Britain: Beyond the Spectre of the Drunkard (Palgrave), by Thora Hands
Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license

This open access book surveys drinking in Britain between the
Licensing Act of 1869 and the wartime regulations imposed on alcohol
production and consumption after 1914. This was a period marked by the
expansion of the drink industry and by increasingly restrictive
licensing laws. Politics and commerce co-existed with moral and
medical concerns about drunkenness and combined, these factors pushed
alcohol consumers into the public spotlight. Through an analysis of
public and private records, medical texts and sociological studies,
the book investigates the reasons why Victorians and Edwardians
consumed alcohol in the ways that they did and explores the ideas
about alcohol that circulated in the period.  This book shows that
they had many reasons for purchasing and consuming alcoholic
substances and these were driven by broader social, cultural, medical
and commercial factors. Although drunkenness may have been the most
visible consequence of alcohol consumption, it was not the only type
of drinking behaviour. Alcohol played an important social role in the
everyday lives of Victorians and Edwardians where its consumption held
many different meanings.

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Table of contents (13 chapters)
Introduction: Reframing Drink and the Victorians

Hands, Thora
Pages 1-10
The Spectre of the Drunkard

Hands, Thora
Pages 13-24
The Great Army of Drinkers

Hands, Thora
Pages 25-40
The Secret Army of Drinkers

Hands, Thora
Pages 41-48
Testing the ‘Character of Drink’

Hands, Thora
Pages 49-55
Selling ‘the Drink of the Empire’: Bass & Co. Ltd

Hands, Thora
Pages 59-68
Making Scotch Respectable: Buchanan and Walker

Hands, Thora
Pages 69-83
Selling the ‘Illusion’ of the Brand: W & A Gilbey

Hands, Thora
Pages 85-91
Doctor’s Orders: A Prescription to Drink

Hands, Thora
Pages 95-112
Drinking for Health: Proprietary Tonic Wines

Hands, Thora
Pages 113-127
Neither Carnival nor Lent: Everyday Working Class Drinking

Hands, Thora
Pages 129-143
The Drinking Cultures of the Higher Classes

Hands, Thora
Pages 145-157

Hands, Thora
Pages 159-164
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ISBN 978-3-319-92964-4
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Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Drinking in Victorian and Edwardian Britain
Book Subtitle
Beyond the Spectre of the Drunkard
Thora Hands
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)