Georgians

The population of Britain grew rapidly during the Georgian period, from around five million people in 1700 to nearly nine million by 1801. It was a time of extreme luxury and extreme poverty, of burgeoning consumer culture and the birth of industrialisation; of spectacular entertainments from exhibitions of giants and exotic animals to public hangings. Explore the newspapers, books, illustrations, posters and political reports of the time to find out more... 

Written by Dr. Matthew White

The Rise of Cities

The Rise of Cities

Life in the eighteenth-century city would have provoked a dazzling mixture of sensations: terror and exhilaration, menace and bliss, awe and pity...

 

Crime and Punishment

Throughout the eighteenth century many people viewed criminals and law breaking as heroic and courageous, and the activities of robbers and villains were often widely celebrated in popular culture...

 

Poverty

Fluctuating grain prices at times of poor harvest resulted in many families struggling to pay for their basic item of food: bread...

 

Entertainment

A host of entertainments were available to those seeking relief from their everyday routines...

 

Industrialisation

The eighteenth century witnessed the emergence of the ‘Industrial Revolution’. This was the great age of steam, canals and factories that changed the face of the British economy forever...

 

Material Culture: Getting and Spending

This was the ‘age of manufactures’, when British men and women gained access to a dizzying range of material things...

 

Health and Hygiene

While there were gradual improvements in medical knowledge and healthcare, for many people even minor diseases could prove fatal...

 

Popular politics

The political rights of ordinary men and women were extremely limited. Voting in elections was restricted only to those of substantial property or wealth..