The autobiography of the working class

Burnett, John
March 1990
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Spring90, Vol. 55 Issue 1, p14
Academic Journal
This paper offers new perspectives on the history of labour in relation to working-class life through the filtered recollections of the participants during the nineteenth century. For most autobiographers schooling ended with an abrupt transition to work at an age which advanced slowly from six or seven at the beginning of the century to eleven or twelve at its end. But for many, probably most, autobiographers, work was to be endured rather than enjoyed, a means to the end of survival and family maintenance rather than an end itself. From the amount of space allocated to it, life outside work was of greater importance--the simple pleasures of family and friends, the rare holidays and outings, the interests of the neighbourhood and countryside.


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