From the Cradle to the Grave

Ref: C2225671

We will investigate how the family unit coped with changing fortunes during the 19th century in England & Wales. We start with the institution of marriage, changing customs, expectations, housing and home comforts, and see how legislation relating to married women affected the family group. Childbirth and child care, with health issues and education come next - using local case studies to illustrate key points and involve the students. The Victorian workplace for both men and women with changing technology and new occupations plus the start of union representation, for both sexes. After work comes play, both indoors and outdoors, where we take the sidelines in sport, have a private box at the theatre and join the mob in the pit at the music hall, as well as sit in on a reading circle and visit the park. Finally we come to old age, the provision of end-of-life care and the changing rituals associated with death and mourning.

Course aim

To observe how government legislation, the introduction of new technology and changing social attitudes affected the Victorian family from childhood to death using local case studies and original records.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify key government legislation affecting family life in Victorian Britain.
  • Describe 4 ways in which new technology provided new occupations in the 19th century.
  • Explain how and why the concept of childhood developed in Victorian times.
  • Make comparisons between Victorian and modern-day family life.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • The tutor will provide a website page (Padlet) where students will be able to access course materials.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The tutor will provide a Book Box for students to use as a lending library.

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

From the Cradle to the Grave


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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