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This study aimed to examine the predictors of cognitive performance in patients with pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (pmTBI) and to determine whether group differences in cognitive performance on a computerized test battery could be observed between pmTBI patients and healthy controls (HC) in the sub-acute (SA) and the early chronic (EC) phases of injury.
203 pmTBI patients recruited from emergency settings and 159 age- and sex-matched HC aged 8–18 rated their ongoing post-concussive symptoms (PCS) on the Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory and completed the Cogstate brief battery in the SA (1–11 days) phase of injury. A subset (156 pmTBI patients; 144 HC) completed testing in the EC (∼4 months) phase.
Within the SA phase, a group difference was only observed for the visual learning task (One-Card Learning), with pmTBI patients being less accurate relative to HC. Follow-up analyses indicated higher ongoing PCS and higher 5P clinical risk scores were significant predictors of lower One-Card Learning accuracy within SA phase, while premorbid variables (estimates of intellectual functioning, parental education, and presence of learning disabilities or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) were not.
The absence of group differences at EC phase is supportive of cognitive recovery by 4 months post-injury. While the severity of ongoing PCS and the 5P score were better overall predictors of cognitive performance on the Cogstate at SA relative to premorbid variables, the full regression model explained only 4.1% of the variance, highlighting the need for future work on predictors of cognitive outcomes.
Rhoda Broughton's Dear Faustina (1897) has been consistently interpreted as a novel that engages with, and on occasion mocks, late nineteenth-century characterisations of the independent urban working woman. The familiar narrative commences with Althea Vane’s decision to relinquish the material comforts of her upper-class home and, with the guidance and encouragement of New Woman figure Faustina Bateson, embrace socially progressive causes while cohabiting with her in a ‘Chelsea flat’. As Althea becomes disillusioned by Faustina's political and personal infidelity, however, she exchanges her commitment to the symbolic ‘higher claims’ (40) touted by Faustina for settlement work and a relationship with a man of her own social status. While nineteenth-century critics identified the novel as a ‘satire’ of women's charitable work, modern examinations have focused on the ways in which the novel is preoccupied with recasting the independent woman's homosocial household with the more socially acceptable configuration of heteronormative domesticity. Lisa Hagar convincingly reads the novel's narrative of ‘inversion’ as one that is linked to the themes of social work explored by the text, and suggests that the ‘cross-class relationship’ is one that ‘imagines lesbian desire in terms of philanthropic desire’. Yet Dear Faustina exceeds a narrative of inversion and instead complicates models of opposition, specifically those related to gender, sexuality and class. In its representation of two key forms of housing, women's residences and settlement housing, Dear Faustina explores the way that these new domestic forms made legible the nuanced and inextricable relationship between economic and sexual power.
Dear Faustina draws on both the traditional and modern meaning of the word ‘economic’. Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did the word develop its associations with the ‘science of economics’ or ‘political economy’ that today carry its principal weight in meaning. Before this time, the word was more closely associated with its Greek root oikonomia, which refers to the management of a household or a family. The text makes significant use of this ambivalent meaning, as it denotes the intimate relationship between the household – and the relationships that define it – and material wealth.
‘Victorian’ is a term, at once indicative of a strongly determined concept and an often notoriously vague notion, emptied of all meaningful content by the many journalistic misconceptions that persist about the inhabitants and cultures of the British Isles and Victoria’s Empire in the nineteenth century. As such, it has become a by-word for the assumption of various, often contradictory habits of thought, belief, behaviour and perceptions. Victorian studies and studies in nineteenth-century literature and culture have, from their institutional inception, questioned narrowness of presumption, pushed at the limits of the nominal definition, and have sought to question the very grounds on which the unreflective perception of the socalled Victorian has been built; and so they continue to do. Victorian and nineteenth-century studies of literature and culture maintain a breadth and diversity of interest, of focus and inquiry, in an interrogative and intellectually open-minded and challenging manner, which are equal to the exploration and inquisitiveness of its subjects. Many of the questions asked by scholars and researchers of the innumerable productions of nineteenth-century society actively put into suspension the clichés and stereotypes of ‘Victorianism’, whether the approach has been sustained by historical, scientifc, philosophical, empirical, ideological or theoretical concerns; indeed, it would be incorrect to assume that each of these approaches to the idea of the Victorian has been, or has remained, in the main exclusive, sealed off from the interests and engagements of other approaches. A vital interdisciplinarity has been pursued and embraced, for the most part, even as there has been contest and debate among Victorianists, pursued with as much fervour as the affirmative exploration between different disciplines and differing epistemologies put to work in the service of reading the nineteenth century.
Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture aims to take up both the debates and the inventive approaches and departures from convention that studies in the nineteenth century have witnessed for the last half century at least. Aiming to maintain a ‘Victorian’ (in the most positive sense of that motif) spirit of inquiry, the series’ purpose is to continue and augment the cross-fertilisation of interdisciplinary approaches, and to offer, in addition, a number of timely and untimely revisions of Victorian literature, culture, history and identity.
London's spectacular growth over the course of the nineteenth century produced an urgent problem: how people might live together, efficiently and harmoniously, in a congested urban environment? This problem, however, also presented an opportunity for architectural and literary innovation. By the turn of the twentieth century, new models of housing spanned the city's districts, from the open spaces of Hampstead Heath to those of Peckham Rye, and extended to all facets of society: workers’ hostels offered affordable shelter for itinerant labourers; model dwellings companies provided improved housing for the working classes and workers’ cottages for the upwardly mobile artisan classes; suburban expansion made available lowdensity neighbourhoods and individual gardens to the burgeoning middle classes; and in the city centre, apartment buildings provided accommodation for a metropolitan demographic diverse enough to include both thespians and parliamentarians. Yet the task of reinventing domestic space was not restricted to architects and urban planners: philanthropists, politicians, novelists, dramatists and pundits all turned their attention to reconceptualising the ways that people might live together in the city.
This book examines the relationship between literary representation and new forms of urban domestic architecture in London between 1880 and 1920. In principle, it is concerned with mapping rhetorical shifts on to the reimagining of household practice and the physical reconceptualisation of domestic space during this period. It treats architectural and literary forms as texts that both require exegesis, the rendition of which reveals the interconnectedness of material and ideological realms. The four decades around the turn of the twentieth century were a period in which there existed a comprehensive social effort to design domestic buildings that diverged from the conventional household model, which based its spatial organisation on the nuclear family unit. As Caroline Morrell explains, the Census Report of 1871 stated that ‘the natural family is founded by marriage, and consists, in its complete state of husband, wife and children’. Yet during the late nineteenth century, public interest and critical opinion were attentive to the growing diversification of domestic relationships in urban centres. A variety of models of housing that emerged in the latter half of the nineteenth century addressed this diversification, including the four that are the focus of this book: model dwellings, women's residences, settlement housing and the garden city.
Although her earliest novel was most famous for its scandalous impropriety, Julia Frankau's writing was admired by critics and popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the decades around the turn of the twentieth century. Frankau's first novel, Dr. Phillips: A Maida Vale Idyll (1887), published, like all her novels, under the pseudonym ‘Frank Danby’, stoked significant controversy for its caustic portrayal of the affluent West End Anglo-Jewish community in which she was raised.1 While Frankau's two subsequent novels met with some critical success and popular interest, it was not until the publication of Pigs in Clover (1903) – her first after a twelve-year hiatus during which she contributed regularly to the Saturday Review and published several historical and art historical texts – that her literary reputation was firmly established. Sarah Gracombe suggests that Pigs in Clover redresses the prejudice presented in Dr. Phillips in its ‘far more complex, sympathetic look at Jewishness’. Frankau's later novels relinquish the naturalism and melodrama that are characteristic of her earliest work and treat social and political questions with greater nuance; yet subjects such as colonialism, race, sexuality and gender all remain strong themes.
The popular success of her novel The Heart of a Child (1908) – there were at least two film versions of the story made, one an early Hollywood film – owes something to its basis on the Cinderella story popularised in the nineteenth century by the Brothers Grimm. However, the sentimentality that results from this theme is kept in check by the satirical tone that characterises Frankau's fiction. TheHeart of a Child traces the ‘meteoric’ career of a woman who begins life as Sally Snape and who, at the novel's conclusion, is Lady Kidderminster. One reviewer described the familiar story, which is also the plot of Elinor Glyn's The Career of Katharine Bush (1916) and W. B. Maxwell's Vivien (1905), as one of the ‘female climber to fame’ by way of the route of ‘social success’ Yet to focus on the novel’s representation of housing contradicts the heroine's ascent, for in her social climbing she experiences various restrictions that emerge from women's association with domesticity across classes. While Sally’s access to housing improves and she is materially better off at the novel's conclusion, throughout the narrative she is limited and often imperilled by the social implications of the unconventional dwellings that she inhabits.
In 1891 the author and activist Margaret Harkness contributed a series of four articles to the Pall Mall Gazette on London's most prominent ‘labour leaders’: John Burns, Tom Mann, Henry Hyde Champion and R. B. Cunninghame Graham. During the London dockworkers’ strike of 1889, Harkness worked closely with all the labour leaders, and her character sketches reveal a thorough knowledge of the strike itself and also the personal qualities of its leaders and what she viewed as their strengths and weaknesses. Writing of Champion, she acknowledges that his upper-class background bequeathed to him a patrician quality that made him ‘a soldier, brave and tender-hearted, [and] a proud and very reticent man’. Yet his efforts to ‘declass’ himself, she explains, could only ever fail:
[I]t is one thing to become a Socialist because your class is oppressed, and another to throw in your lot with the oppressed because your class is the oppressor. In the latter case you may preach that all class is wrong, and spend your time and strength in trying to break down social barriers; but you will merely find yourself declassed in a world of classes. Your own class will treat you as a renegade, and the oppressed class will be suspicious.
The particular dynamics of Champion's attempt to live ‘declassed in a world of classes’ is a theme that Harkness would revisit in her novel George Eastmont, Wanderer (1905). The novel, ‘which contains the writer's experiences in the labour movement, and thoughts about it’, traces the growth of the British socialist movement during the 1880s through to its apex at the 1889 London dockworkers’ strike by way of the experiences of its eponymous protagonist. In a way, the novel is a roman à clef of the early socialist movement in Britain, but one that privileges the personal history of an ‘aristocratic socialist’ who John Barnes identifies as Henry Hyde Champion. Despite certain similarities between Champion's life and Eastmont’s experiences in the novel, George Eastmont, Wanderer is in no sense a straightforward biographical history. In fact, one formal technique of Harkness's novel is to confound biography – and thereby challenge socialist forms of heroes and hero-worship – by deliberately conflating her own experiences with those of Champion.
After achieving extraordinary success with the best-selling RobertElsmere (1888), a novel that follows a clergyman's crisis of faith, Mary Ward set out to write a story ‘concerned not with theology, but social ethics’. The novel that followed, Marcella (1894), shares with Robert Elsmere a structure that traces the protagonist's intellectual development in the context of late nineteenth-century social and political changes. While Marcella foregrounds the emergence of British socialism at the end of the nineteenth century, its impulse is intellectual more than ideological; it is not, as one reviewer claimed, ‘a sugar-coated pamphlet’, but instead examines the effect of political debate on the protagonist's emotional and intellectual development.
The novel follows the political engagement and social commitment of the young heroine, Marcella Boyce, from her early interest in socialism, through to her engagement with legal lobbying and social support, a career in district nursing and, finally, marriage. Although Ward's reputation as a fusty Victorian persists, due in part to her association with the anti-suffrage movement – and certainly not helped by Lytton Strachey's rather uncomfortable characterisation of her as ‘that shapeless mass of meaningless flesh’ – recent scholarship has contested this designation through careful readings of her work and a reconsideration of her personal politics. Marcella is certainly a form of bildungsroman, as these studies point out, but it is also a narrative exercise in nineteenth-century political liberalism in its sustained examination of the patterns of its protagonist's ideological deliberation. By the mid-Victorian period liberalism was, as Elaine Hadley explains, the ‘fashionable form of opinion’. Contemplative thought was, in fact, the principal form of political activity for the liberal subject. To engage in the processes of reflection, deliberation and abstraction produced liberal ideas, which then entered the public domain of political opinion.
This process of reflection and deliberation, or ‘liberal cognition’ as Hadley describes it, is one that provides Marcella with both its subject and its structure. Ward's novel gives substance to the processes of liberal cognition by following the development of Marcella's political convictions. As Hadley remarks, nineteenth-century political liberalism was preoccupied with how one ought to think, but not precisely what to think.
In an article written for Women's Herald in 1893, a ‘special commissioner’ visits two buildings designed to house independent working women, Sloane Gardens House and Oakley Street Chambers, in order to investigate ‘Where the Unmarried Live’. Oakley Street Chambers, constructed in 1876 under the initiative of Lady Mary Feilding's Working Ladies’ Guild, was the first structure designed for the purpose of housing independent working women. Sloane Gardens House, built in 1888, was the first project of the Ladies’ Associated Dwellings’ Company and was, as Emily Gee notes, ‘the first large-scale, quality, purpose-built lodgings for lower wage but still quite clearly middle-class women’. By 1893 a handful of buildings designed to house independent working women existed in London and their diversity attests to the complexity of women’s changing social status at this time. Although the author of ‘Where the Unmarried Live’ might have chosen one of the residences built by the Ladies’ Residential Chambers Company, which were designed for more affluent middle-class and professional women, both Oakley Street Chambers and Sloane Gardens House were by this point well-established institutions. Sloane Gardens House, a ‘typical example as regards convenience of situation, charges, and general arrangements’, the correspondent comments, is ‘always filled with residents, and numerous applications have to be refused for want of room’. Nevertheless, the correspondent also finds that life at Sloane Gardens House could be surprisingly solitary. One resident explains to the author that her first experience of the residence was ‘intense loneliness’. Although many women formed small coteries with whom to ‘chat […] merrily’ over dinner, others were ‘glum and exclusive’ and took no notice of the newcomer.This resident soon discovered that the ‘majority of the residents stay in their rooms in the evening’ and claims that, on one occasion, her desperation led her to ‘rebel […] against the spirit of indifference’. The newcomer's rebellious behaviour is, however, comically reserved: ‘One morning I noticed a girl at the breakfast table looking very ill. I asked if there was anything I could do for her. That was the breaking of the ice and we are now good friends.’
In an article written for London Society in 1888, an anonymous author who uses the pseudonym ‘a Frenchwoman in London’ chronicles her attempt to find suitable lodgings in London. The task is nearly impossible. Although the streets are lined with houses, and there are spare rooms to be let, each is rendered unsuitable – or she herself is ineligible – due to a failure to comply with social expectations. Boarding houses that are tolerably clean enough for consideration ‘don’t take in ladies’ on account of the suspicion that such tenants might ‘go out late in the evening’. The alternative, the less respectable lodging houses, are patrolled by dishevelled women reeking of spirits and offer second-hand furnishings that are ‘really too disgusting to think about’. Although the Frenchwoman eventually finds a draughty garret with an unremarkable landlady, the flame once fanned by the chimera of independence has been snuffed out. Her disillusion comes not from an inability to evince or maintain a spirit of independence, for that is what motivates her to seek employment and accommodation in London, but rather from the disappointing realisation that there exists no social or material infrastructure to support women's self-determination. The author remarks that if a woman is lucky enough to find respectable and affordable lodgings, unlike a man she suffers from (among other unpleasant experiences) isolation:
[A] man more often works in the company of his fellows, and can always spend his evenings at his club or with his companions; he can frequent his pet restaurant, his favourite theatres and music halls, or any place his fancy selects where he can meet friends and acquaintances. How different must be the woman's life.
The author makes an important point: women were living and working independently in the city, but social convention and architectural practice had not developed at the same rate as their autonomy. One important consequence was the scarcity of appropriate accommodation. The author notes that ‘there are many thousands of women working for their daily bread’ living in poor conditions, and suggests
how great a boon it would be if some nice places could be built containing suitable apartments, in which large numbers could live under one roof and have suitable attendance provided.
Given Margaret Harkness's commitment to progressive causes and, particularly in her early life, her support of socialist politics, it is perhaps surprising that her first novel A City Girl (1887) so derides the efforts of an important antecedent to the state provision of housing in Britain: the model dwellings movement. Initiated by a philanthropic interest in improving the housing conditions of the industrious working classes, the model dwellings movement was equally given its impetus by a string of legislative changes to housing policy from roughly mid-century. The creation of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1856 gave local councils the authority to condemn and demolish insanitary dwellings, but there was little provision for councils to replace the housing of those who were evicted under such city improvement projects – which were often little more than forms of social cleansing. The Labouring Classes Dwelling Houses Acts of 1866 and 1867 provided some coherence in legislation across London's municipal boroughs, and offered an incentive for positive rather than negative provision. The Acts allowed model dwellings companies to borrow money from the government's Public Works Loan Commissioners below market rate in order to finance the purchase of clearance sites and the construction of working-class housing. Most model dwellings companies, of which there were approximately thirty operating in London in the latter half of the century, promised investors an annual dividend of roughly 5 per cent and thus the business model earned the sobriquets ‘five per cent philanthropy’ and ‘capitalist philanthropy’. Model dwellings companies operated on a principle of private investment, but the experiment would have been impossible without preferential borrowing rates and significant government assistance. In this sense, such companies combined capitalist enterprise with government support and in doing so were ideologically pitched between self-help and civic paternalism.
Yet for Harkness, who was consistently critical of economic motives, the model dwellings movement was an inadequate response to the social inequity created by capitalism. Worse still, the hypocritical model of capitalist philanthropy risked exploiting the very people it purported to help. In A City Girl, Harkness connects the model of economic paternalism that characterised the model dwellings movement with the familiar narrative of the fallen woman – which, as Sally Ledger notes, Harkness partly rewrites.
In ‘The Great London Property Squeeze’, an article written for the Guardian in 2017, Anna Minton offers a trenchant examination of the origins and effects of London's present-day housing crisis, from descriptions of ‘beds in sheds’ and criminal levels of overcrowding in single rooms in districts such as Newham and Brent, to accounts of ‘middle-class poverty’ in West Norwood where tenants – despite earning well above the national average – are forced to choose between a functional heating system and a satisfactory school catchment area. While subjects such as slum landlordism, overcrowding, as well as the experiences of the ‘squeezed middle’ are those that characterise much writing on nineteenth-century housing, Minton’s use of language equally recalls a previous era. The article opens with the author's description of her meeting with Ian Dick, the head of private housing at Newham council in East London, and follows their sordid tour through the district's illegal forms of habitation, including garden sheds and ‘ramshackle outbuildings’. Making their way from back gardens through the piles of abandoned mattresses, they reach ‘the back of a large Victorian house, [where they] were met with a smell of leaking sewage, and the once-white walls were now filthy and soot-stained’. Peering through the bars of a ‘grimlooking security gate at the back door’, Minton glimpses a toddler and his mother and thinks:
This was no place for a child – or anyone – to live, but it was also obvious that once they were evicted, their fortunes would not necessarily improve. There would be nowhere to go, and even if they qualified for social housing, they would most likely enter the world of substandard temporary accommodation.
Minton's writing recalls one of the most famous pieces of nineteenth- century journalism on housing, Andrew Mearns's The Bitter Cry of Outcast London (1883), in several significant ways. Both Minton and Mearns engage with forms of investigative journalism, specifically an author persona who explores an unfamiliar territory and acts as a conduit for such an experience to the reader. While Minton's article lacks the histrionic style of Mearns's pamphlet, which was designed to incite moral outrage about the forms of depravity that substandard housing might foster, both authors emphasise the sensory experience to underscore the need for improvement.
This book brings together a range of new models for modern living that emerged in response to social and economic changes in nineteenth-century London, and the literature that gave expression to their novelty.
One year before Arthur Morrison's A Child of the Jago (1896) made infamous the East End slum neighbourhood known as the Old Nichol, the district received treatment in a novel written by an author who was a less likely candidate for representations of vice, violence and abject poverty: the popular writer of girls’ stories, L. T. Meade. In A Princess of the Gutter (1895), Meade engages with the generic conventions of the romance novel in its narrative trajectory, but draws on modes of realism in both its discourse and subject. The novel traces the personal transformation of Joan Prinsep, a Girton graduate who is left a fortune upon her uncle's death, but who is distressed when she discovers that its source is the tenure of a series of slum properties concentrated in Shoreditch. Following the romance convention of the rescue plot, Joan is inspired to settle in the East End with the ambition of helping to ameliorate the lives and living conditions of the local population. In this sense, the novel is organised around her personal transformation but also the material transformation of the people with whom she lives: Joan's benefaction to the district is a block of model dwellings, the ‘Joan Mansions’, which replaces the former slum properties.
The novel's subject is a familiar one and, as Lynne Hapgood notes, is based on the slum fiction of the early 1880s such as Walter Besant’s All Sorts and Conditions of Men (1882) and George Gissing's Workers in the Dawn (1880). Like these novels, A Princess of the Gutter is textured by its engagement with the conditions of urban poverty and is preoccupied by contemporaneous efforts for social justice. The novel's integration of romance and realism is not merely aesthetic; it is also political. A Princess of the Gutter makes use of the generic conventions of romance and realism in order to engage in contemporary debates about the settlement movement and the degree to which religious philosophy was necessary in order for this method of social action to be effective.