Unburying Bits of Rubbish: Deconstruction of the Victorian Suburban Ideal

Lara Whelan

<1> Imagine yourself walking down a street in the London metropolitan area, circa 1860. Mud sucks at your feet as you walk; the straw that has been put down to absorb moisture has long since outlasted its usefulness and merely gets in your way. When the breeze picks up, you get pungent reminders that there is an open sewer or a multitude of bad drains, or both, somewhere near and you begin to wonder just what, exactly, has made the streets so muddy. As you pick your way carefully down the street, trash whirls around your legs and ankles, and occasionally you see what you believe to be half a plate or a bit of teacup scudding across one of the many empty lots. Broken bricks, bottles and a variety of discarded building materials lie in abandoned heaps at street corners and in side yards, and although you cannot see them, you get the distinct impression that someone in the area is raising pigs.

<2> Having reached your destination, a small semi-detached brick house with a paved garden, you step across the stones to the front door and knock. When you enter, you immediately sense, both by feel and smell, the damp that pervades the house. While you wait to be admitted, you nudge the hall carpet with your foot; immediately a bevy of black beetles and centipedes scurries for cover. You shiver as a draft of cold air blows across your neck, and you wonder how anyone could be expected to stay healthy living in a home, or a neighborhood, such as this.

<3> Where are you? Seven Dials? Shoreditch? Some run-down lane in the East End? Might it surprise you to find that you have been visiting one of the newest suburban developments in Clapham, or Camberwell, or Islington? It certainly surprised many of those middle-class families who moved to the suburbs in the second half of the nineteenth century, looking for peace, quiet, privacy and an alternative to the unhealthy atmosphere of the City. Instead of a green suburban idyll, what they found, in many cases, was a repetition of the evils of urban living: bad drains, little public sanitation, poorly constructed houses that were as damp as any lower-class hovel in the city, and less privacy than one might expect. Certainly, there was no guarantee that one's neighbors were as respectable as one might wish.

<4> Modern readers may be similarly surprised by the contrast between the ideal often associated with the Victorian suburb and its grittier reality. Perhaps the persistence of this ideal is due, to a certain extent, to its proliferation in domestic fiction of the period. However, there are also many instances, particularly in sensation fiction and ghost stories, where the suburban ideal is called into question or explicitly undermined, as in Dickens' portrayal of the Boffins in Our Mutual Friend (1864-5), or in Wilkie Collins' novel Basil, which deals almost exclusively with the problems arising from putting trust in suburban façades. It may be difficult to contextualize or interpret depictions of the suburb in Victorian texts, particularly those that seem to resist the ideal, without an understanding of suburban realities in the middle and later parts of the nineteenth century.

<5> Other urban centers certainly played an important role in the development of the Victorian city, but London has a special connection to the idea of the suburbs. There, the meaning of suburban space continued in flux much longer than it did around any other English city, such as Leeds or Manchester, where most development had stopped by 1850 (Burnett 56). In contrast to northern cities, the London suburbs grew 50% per decade between the years 1861-91 (Dyos 19). The London suburb became truly sub-urban rather than sub-rural in the second half of the nineteenth century. At an earlier stage in the suburbs' development, suburban isolation from the city was still possible. The first middle-class suburbs were small semi-rural villages, some already in existence for hundreds of years. These havens were valued as an escape from those problems peculiar to city living, which included deadly communicable diseases of various kinds. London was also thought to carry various "miasmas" and consumptions in its damp, stale air and smutty fogs. For example, Victorian London saw several cholera epidemics before 1875, when the Public Health Act was passed, and none were limited to poverty-stricken districts. Many suspected that over-crowding and unsanitary living conditions contributed to these conditions. It seemed advisable, then, to get as far as possible from the city when epidemics struck. As long as one could escape to a place with plenty of space, air, and light, and limit one's contact with those who could not afford such an escape, one was safe.

<6> Suburban space in its idealized form eventually embodied the middle-class self-concept in terms of morals, values and goals. The problem was that the ideal of privacy, quiet respectability and social homogeneity was, in fact, only a figure in most cases. Household guides, often written by the women who had to maintain the suburban home, give a picture of suburban living that barely resembles the country house ideal represented in works like Dickens' Oliver Twist (1837) or even the suburban ideal figured as Greenwich in Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. The very title of Jane Elizabeth Panton's Suburban Residences and How to Circumvent Them (1896) shows how little the average suburb lived up to its image. Although Panton wrote near the end of the century, she draws on her experience of 20 years of living in the London suburbs. She offers an extensive list of things that could and often did make suburban living unpleasant: tramps, barking dogs, banging gates, neighbors who raise livestock, servants who "hang out the clothes and themselves at the same time," and shrieking children. In the introduction to her guide, Panton's main subject is the impossibility of avoiding any of these "horrors," even in the best estates. She describes a poor choice of suburban quarters as capable of driving one "wild" -- "there are ... suburban terrors which are to be dreaded ... as no one knows what torture can be given one by apparently innocent means" (4-5). As for privacy, "unless one has a really large place, one must be so close to one's neighbours owing to the way the ground is arranged for building, that one nearly dies of them" (9).

<7> Dying of one's neighbors may not have been entirely exaggeration; suburban estates could be downright unhealthy places to live. The houses were often poorly built and streets might remain unpaved and undrained for years while speculative builders waited for the capital to finish a development or went bankrupt and abandoned it. Indeed, quality of life in the suburbs was generally poor until after 1875, when the comprehensive Public Health Act divided the country into urban and rural sanitary districts with clearly defined duties (Briggs 19). Previous to that, the 1858, 1863, 1868, and 1870 attempts at reform of housing regulations and sanitary supervision had all failed (Briggs 342). Sewage problems could be compounded when one considers that many suburban homes lacked indoor plumbing entirely, despite the slow move towards water closets. Molly Hughes, author of A Victorian Family, 1870-1900 (1934), remembers that in her childhood and adolescence in the northern suburbs of London in the 1870s and 80s she had "never seen a bathroom" (77).

<8> "The Builder's House, and the Bricklayer's Garden, by an Eye-Witness and Sufferer," published in Household Words in 1851, gives a disturbing personal account of the sewage situation in the suburbs. The author, Richard H. Horne, describes the construction of a new suburban estate directly across the street from his own house, and notes that the sewage pipes laid in and around the new houses were square and on a level rather than round and on a downward slope. This means that "the whole of the sewage having no downward pressure from its own weight, will inevitably flow back to the house and deluge the cellars and ground floors most odoriferously" (Horne, "Builder's" 514). Further, he watches aghast as the builders put a brick "dust-hole" or drain outfall "under the kitchen window and in a line beneath the dining-room window" (Horne, "Builder's" 514).

<9> In addition to sewage problems, many suburbs were often filled with garbage, including the "dust heaps" for which some districts were famous and which Dickens immortalized in Our Mutual Friend. An essay published in Household Words in 1850 described a typical mound as "a large hill, ... in the vicinity of small suburb cottages, [rising] above them like a great black mountain" (Horne, "Dust" 380). Very often a suburban estate looked out on waste fields or brickyards rather than on "the country." And as for healthy air, many suburban residents had to deal not with fresh country breezes but with neighborhood piggeries, tanneries and other foul-smelling industries that moved into the area because of cheap land and cheap rents (Dyos 111).

<10> In addition to the poor physical environment, many observers commented on the shoddy construction of the houses themselves. As early as 1859, George Godwin railed against the fact that

thousands of houses in the suburbs ... are commenced ... without any excavation; the basement floor of thin, gaping boards placed within six inches of the damp ground; with slight walls of ill-burnt bricks and muddy mortar, sucking up the moisture and giving it out in the apartments... (qtd. in Burnett 88)

Sir Charles Eastlake had his own troubles with his suburban paradise in west London. He remarks that

It is in my "sanctum" that I interview my builders: I use the plural number, not because I employ more than one at a time, but because I have had so many -- about seven, I think -- since I first became a tenant of this house, which costs me about 50l. a year in repairs [on a house that rents for £150 p.a.]. (Easel 123-4)

Even in a "respectable" neighborhood, then, repairs could add as much as one-third to the cost of living in a suburb, assuming one had the means to make those repairs and had budgeted for them. The alternative was that the houses slowly disintegrated.

<11> The structural problems with suburban homes stemmed from the methods that evolved for developing land outside London. Most suburban developments were not planned as coherent neighborhoods; land was bought piecemeal by individuals or small building companies and developed according to whatever fancy took the builder. Sometimes, a builder might buy only one lot; very rarely did one builder buy large numbers of lots at one time. Many builders, knowing their market, incorporated external features of the more expensive villas and country houses in order to make it clear from the street that their houses were suitable middle-class residences (Burnett 115, 25). These decorations often took up materials and costs that should have been devoted to the structures themselves. Often suburban houses did not last more than forty years before falling down or becoming uninhabitable due to drafts, bad drainage and rising damp (Burnett 156).

<12> Horne's article "The Builder's House," in addition to discussing the drainage problem, describes the author's personal experience with the shoddy construction of the typical suburb. Watching the erection of houses across the street, he reports that although "the damp clay land will need a pretty good foundation for the houses, ... we look in vain for the depositing and arrangement of anything of this kind" ("Builder's" 514). As for his own house, he tells us: "I live in a damp house. Nothing can cure it. ... My second floor back window commands a view of a long row of new houses, which will inevitably be as damp as my own" ("Builder's" 513). Horne considers himself lucky, nevertheless, that "by dint of fires in almost every room" he can live in his house throughout the year, for one man of his acquaintance was forced to give up his damp suburban house for the winter. When he returned in the spring, "mosses and fungus had grown from the ceilings on the ground-floor, and a colony of toadstools had risen up in the dining-room corners" ("Builder's" 513). Horne goes on to catalog the problems he encounters with his own home: wallpaper will not stay on the walls, the rooms are actually foggy, all the carpets and mats mold in a week and are "covered over with red worms, and slugs, or other creatures" ("Builder's" 513).

<13> Most blamed the evils of suburban architecture on speculative builders and their cousins, the jerry builders. As Donald Olsen notes, "entry into the [building] business required no specialized skills and little or no capital" ("House" 334). To their contemporaries, speculative builders (those who built homes without having secured any actual residents for the houses) were objects of contempt, their "business careers ... a history of bad workmanship and bad debts" (Dyos 85). Furthermore, they were not of the class of respectable architects, but "labourers and mechanics, servants and publicans, shopkeepers and merchants" who saw an opportunity to invest their small capital with the chance of steady return (Dyos 123). Horne, describing the disaster that was his suburban home, prefaces his remarks by saying

by the term of "builder," I do not so much refer to the regularly trained master of the craft ... as to that very large class, who, having risen by their industry and skill as master bricklayers, ought to have remained in that position, and not to have started forward as the builders of heaps of houses and innumerable streets, filling our extensive suburbs with ill-drained, incommodious, damp, and shapeless abodes. ("Builder's" 513)

People with few building skills and little capital created suburbia -- it's a wonder any houses were ever built at all, much less the vast numbers that sprang up all over London from 1850-1880.

<14> But the middle class saw building as one of the safest possible investments. Lawyers and bankers encouraged clients to put trust funds, marriage settlements and inheritances into housing (Rodger 24), which usually guaranteed a steady five per cent return. Why it was considered so safe is something of a mystery, since the middle class, while it might control many facets of the culture, represented "no more than five to fifteen percent of the total population of England and Wales" in the Victorian period (Alexander 294), and it was on this five to fifteen percent that investors and builders speculated. Nevertheless, Francis Sheppard reports the astonishing statistic that "in 1851 there were over 66,500 people engaged in building in London. Building was, in fact, London's biggest single industry" (101). The abundance of willing investors for shaky building firms had a devastating effect on suburban housing itself because more building was commenced than was ever finished. Indeed, as H. J. Dyos and D. A. Reeder have argued, the prevalence of speculative building added to the slum potential of some suburban districts: "it was sometimes possible to run through the whole gamut from meadow to slum in a single generation, or even less" (364).

<15> The degeneration of the physical condition of a suburban area translated directly to its social condition. Because a particular estate could deteriorate rapidly into a physically uncomfortable mess, suburbanites were usually on the lookout for a "better" situation, while those looking to make their way into the middle class often moved into "deteriorating" neighborhoods as the rents became more affordable. Depending on the proximity of the area to London, the greatest influx of residents in a suburban area might be working-class artisans "in flight" from inner-city overcrowding. Or, they might be rural laborers attracted to the city by greater opportunities for work but unwilling to give up the idea of the country altogether. These "emigrants" found lodgings in houses that had once been middle-class residences. As Dyos notes, "such social transformations were the visible products of innumerable uncharted migrations of families on the move to tap fresh credit, or to find cheaper rooms, or simply to 'get a bit decent'"(59).

<16> An aspiring suburbanite was very likely to be surprised by the lack of social homogeneity to be found in supposedly solid middle-class territory. F.M.L. Thompson puts it succinctly when he says that "the nineteenth-century suburban dream was a middle-class dream; the nineteenth-century suburban reality was a social patchwork" (20). A middle-class family had to be constantly vigilant regarding the social status of the suburban area in which they lived. Signing long leases was tricky -- it might only take one year for a formerly fashionable address to become déclassé, and then the lessee would be stuck in a socially disastrous contract.

<17> To prevent this kind of shifting, so antithetical to the peaceful and socially exclusive suburban ideal, some building companies, like the Goldsmiths' Company in Acton, tried "to control the character of [their] estate" by prohibiting terraces and setting minimum house values at between £600-800 (Thompson 106), but these attempts were often unsuccessful. In the case of another Goldsmiths' Company site at Churchfield, such control had been attempted but only six houses had been built between 1868 and 1871, and subsequently the Company leased the remaining land to brickmakers (Thompson 106). In 1884, this same property was sold for the construction of an isolation hospital (Thompson 107), a final irony in which this suburban space, once intended for wealthy families seeking retreat from urban dangers, became instead a site in which waste, debris and infectious disease flourished unchecked.

<18> The lack of social stability in the suburbs contributed to the anxiety of their middle-class residents, but there were other factors which combined to make the stronghold of middle-class culture and values an unsettling place. One is the incredibly wide span of income that could qualify a person as "middle class." Anyone earning from £100 to £1000 a year could consider that he had "arrived" and was entitled to suburban residence. The population that qualified as "middle class" increased dramatically in the second half of the century -- between 1850 and 1914 overall real wages increased 75-80% while per capita income rose an incredible 107% between 1860 and 1895 (Rodger 10, 63). This rise did in fact result in a greater number of families attempting to imitate the middle-class lifestyle -- increased sales during this period "of pianos, linoleum, curtains, wallpaper, cabinets and a deluge of bric-a-brac were demonstrations of this increased purchasing power" (Rodger 63) and of a desire for the middle-class lifestyle.

<19> The problem was that the lifestyle attainable at £100 a year was nothing whatsoever like that attainable at £500 or even £250 a year. J. H. Walsh, a Victorian domestic economist, devotes an entire chapter of his household guide to budgeting, going into great detail about food allowances. Families (defined as four children, two parents and "an appropriate number of servants") with incomes of £100 per annum could not expect to see fish, poultry, or "Italian goods" on their tables in the course of a year (Walsh 606). In fact, at this income level, "unless, by good fortune, there is a garden to supply potatoes, or they can be purchased at a low rate, it is impossible to effect a full diet on this scale" (Walsh 608). A "full diet" at £100 a year would consist of one pound of potatoes per person per day, one-half pound of bread per person per day, one-quarter pound salt butter for the whole family per day and one quart of milk (no cheese), along with 11 pounds of meat or bacon and 1s 10d worth of beer per week (Walsh 608). Clerks and other office workers, who usually fell within or below this income bracket, considered themselves part of the middle class, even though, according to Walsh's guide, they had a standard of living more comparable to that of an artisan or highly-skilled worker. Those in higher income brackets were more than aware that due to the rising of the "clerk class," the line between what was and what was not middle class was becoming impossibly blurred. Further, because suburban rents were significantly lower than rents "in town," many of the upper tiers of the working class could afford suburban houses that were not necessarily in "working-class" districts. Lower-middle class districts, the most vulnerable to working-class influences, were thereby slowly but surely "infiltrated" by the working-class families who could afford, and preferred, to live there, and these neighborhoods were thus made heterogeneous, not the suburban ideal by any means.[1]

<20> The dissonance between what people expected and what they got from suburban living generated a sub-genre of writing that details the failure of the suburban ideal to manifest itself in experience. For example, in Panton's introduction to her guide, the best that she can say for the suburbs is this:

I have tried life, more or less, for about twelve years in the suburbs of London, both north and south, and I have come to the conclusion that if we have a carriage and can therefore live a certain distance from the rail, and if we can put at least three acres of ground round our house, and pass moreover a series of regulations, via the new Parish Councils perhaps, for suburban etiquette ... the southern and south-western suburbs of London are the best places in the world to be in, for ordinary middle-class folk whose best days are over and who yet must be within touch of town for business purposes. (7-8)

Although Panton is pessimistic, she admits that if one does not expect too much and has the means, it is still possible, theoretically, to come close to the suburban ideal. Realistically, however, few had the means to maintain a carriage or meet the rents that would be demanded by the amount of space Panton describes.

<21> Other writers were less sanguine about the suburb. An essay published in Household Words in 1851 speaks much more negatively about the difference between the expectations about the idealized suburb and what could often be the disappointing reality. T. M. Thomas' fable, "A Suburban Connemara," tells the story of a young man who seeks to establish his family in the suburbs of London. He has "a favourable impression of the northern side of London, from the pretty villas and cottages which [he] had remarked on each side of the [rail] line..." (562). He buys a map, measures off a semi-circle the desired distance from his office, and looks for "all the Victoria Crescents and Albert Terraces thereabouts" (562). A district called Agar Town seems to fit the bill, and the young man is especially attracted by the street names: Salisbury Crescent, Oxford Crescent, Cambridge Crescent and the like. He is even concerned, from this evidence, that "the houses in that neighbourhood might be of too expensive a class for a man of moderate means" (563). Upon arriving in Agar Town, however, the first thing he sees is the St. Pancras workhouse. Outside it, a woman and "a number of ragged children" appear to be on the move from there to a residence in this "desirable district" (563).

<22> The roads in Agar Town are "a complete bog of mud and filth, with deep cart-ruts" (563). The promisingly named Salisbury Crescent turns out to be "several wretched hovels, ranged in a slight curve, that formed some excuse for the name. The doors were blocked up with mud, heaps of ashes, oyster-shells, and decayed vegetables" (563). An inhabitant of the district informs the young man that there are no sewers, and that

the stench of a rainy morning is enough fur to knock down a bullock. It's all very well for them as is lucky enough to have a ditch afore their doors; but, in gen'ral, everybody chucks everythink out in front and there it stays. (563)

In addition, Agar Town is host to dust-heaps, houses with water "a flowin' in at the back doors," dung-heaps, cinder-heaps, piles of whelk and periwinkle shells and a donkey.

<23> Some areas of Agar Town are even worse than Salisbury Crescent, and the dustman acquaintance of the narrator informs him that

[w]hen people began to build on [this ground], they run up a couple o' rows o' houses oppersite one another and then the road was left fur to make itself. Then the rain come down, and people chucked their rubbidge out; and the ground bein' nat'raly soft, the carts from the brick-fields worked it all up into paste. (563)

Indeed, the narrator says, "the place, in its present state, is a disgrace to the metropolis," and he uses the example of Agar Town to call for improved dwellings for the respectable poor. He argues that "no spot could be better adapted for the erection of small tenements for labouring men and mechanics" since "no respectable tenant could be induced to take the land for so short a term upon a building lease" (565). In other words, since the owner of the land did not manage his property in a way that profited the middle class, the land could at least have been put to the use of building tenements for the upper reaches of the working class. Certainly, it is implied, the current state of Agar Town, "a perfect reproduction of one of the worst towns in Ireland," is no suitable one for such serviceable land.[2]

<24> George Sala, author of "Dumbledowndeary" (1852), further describes discontent with the effects of suburban expansion on the London area by documenting the problems engendered by the rush to build. The fictional Kentish town of the title, set in a landscape of "luscious orchards of pears and cherries, ... [and] fat little meadows, ... with the river Thames, innocent of dead dogs hereabout, running through the midst" (312), suddenly gets "a mission": bricks.

The Dumbledowndereans threw themselves upon bricks with an ardour and an intensity of purpose really surprising; and it is doubtless due to their extensive operations and speculations in bricks that there are so many brick-fields and so many brick-barges ... so many brickmakers, bricklayers, and bargees ... and more especially, that Dumbledowndeary may be called without much exaggeration a Town to Let (312). ... I don't mean the bricks in the brickfield, exactly .... For with the aid of mortar, "compo," and cement, lath and plaster, carpenter and joiner's work, rule, bevel, and square, they have become Houses. Scarcely have you escaped from the old fashioned little village ... ere a little Babylon of bricks stares you in the face. Streets, terraces, rows, gardens (brick ones), crescents, lodges, villas, squares, groves, cottages, all in brick. (314)

Unfortunately, "nobody lives in these pretty little houses" (315). As the narrator assesses the desolation of this wasteland of never-lived-in houses, he remarks,

the good people of Dumbledowndeary have, in the articles of bricks, houses, and tenants to inhabit them, occupied themselves rather too much with the question of supply, without quite enough regarding the question of demand. ... There is not a door-knocker in this wo-begone little town to let, but what seems to me muffled in bank-notes. ... The whole town seems to me one grim brick mausoleum of dead capital. (315)

<25> It cannot be denied that the "cultural elite" of the nineteenth century worried about suburban development. Around mid-century, John Ruskin noted

I cannot but think it an evil sign of a people when their houses are built to last for one generation only. ... And I look upon those pitiful concretions of lime and clay which spring up, in mildewed forwardness, out of the kneaded fields about our capital -- upon those thin, tottering, foundationless shells of splintered wood and imitated stone -- upon those gloomy rows of formalised minuteness, alike without difference and without fellowship, as solitary as similar -- not merely with the careless disgust of an offended eye, not merely with sorrow for a desecrated landscape, but with a painful foreboding that the roots of our national greatness must be deeply cankered when they are thus loosely struck in their native ground; that those comfortless and unhonoured dwellings are the signs of a great and spreading spirit of popular discontent; that they mark the time when every man's aim is to be in some more elevated sphere than his natural one, and every man's past life is his habitual scorn; when men build in the hope of leaving the places they have built, and live in the hope of forgetting the years that they have lived... (Seven 135-6)

Ruskin anticipates the concerns of many during the last half of the century, when a new domestic ideal which did not equate the physical house with the concept of "home" appeared to be in danger of eroding the values the middle class had fought so hard to maintain and cultivate in Victorian England.[3] But despite Ruskin's and others' concerns, the suburban migration showed no signs of stopping. With the taxes on building materials such as windows, bricks, glass and timber abolished by 1866 (Rodger 51), the suburbs pushed the boundaries of the city ever further outward, appearing to contemporaries as the "leading edge of an unstoppable lava flow" (Dyos and Reeder 376).

<26> Any surprise at the true state of the emerging nineteenth-century suburban culture, so contrary to many of our assumptions, echoes the middle-class Victorian's surprise. Those who decamped to or invested in the suburbs felt their very lives, or at least their way of life, threatened by the conditions that encouraged "invasion" of their territory by the urban underclass. Understanding this anxiety provides us with a new way of contextualizing the explosion of literature about the urban poor, against whom the middle-class erected ideological barriers, represented by the suburbs. This ideological motivation also produced and/or influenced writing about the suburbs, including a significant number of ghost stories and sensation novels in which the suburbs serve as a setting for exploring the gap between suburban ideal and reality.

Endnotes

[1] Donald Olsen argues in "Victorian London: Specialization, Segregation, and Privacy," Victorian Studies 3(17), that "the nineteenth century saw the systematic sorting out of London into single-purpose, homogeneous, specialized neighbourhoods" (267), but the evidence does not bear this out. For more information on the heterogeneity of the Victorian suburb, see Asa Briggs, Victorian Cities (1963); Dyos and Reeder's "Slums and Suburbs" in The Victorian City: Images and Realities (1973); B.I. Coleman's The Idea of the City in Nineteenth-Century Britain (1973), and H.J. Dyos' Victorian Suburb (1973). [^]

[2] George Godwin, writing in 1854, described Agar Town as follows: "This large tract of land was granted on lease to a gentleman connected with the law, Mr. Agar, after whom the district was named. Mr. Agar died, leaving his property to some very young children. At that time the large residence near Pratt-Street was in the fields, and no houses had been built on the estate. Indeed, so retired was this place that within the last fifteen or sixteen years nightingales have been heard near a clump of trees at short distance from Mr. Agar's house. The land was, however, soon let out into small strips, on leases for thirty years. No systematic plan of drainage was laid out: in fact, the houses were planted down very much in the same manner as the wooden huts and tents at the gold diggings: each man suited his means or fancy in the erection of an edifice on the land which for a few years was, on certain conditions, his own" (7). [^]

[3] Although Ruskin may have abominated the trend toward constant movement in the suburban population, he and his family moved outward and "upward" over the course of their residence in Greater London. For example, in 1871 Ruskin moved his family out of Denmark Hill in South London because it was too crowded (Sheppard 109). [^]


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