Dangerous amusements

Leisure, the young working class and urban space in Britain, c. 1870-1939

By Laura Harrison

Dangerous amusements


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4787-5
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: June 2022
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Victorian Era (1837-1901), HISTORY / Social History, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Modern History, History, Social & cultural history, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / 20th Century
  • Series: Studies in Popular Culture


In neighbourhoods and public spaces across Britain, young working people walked out together, congregated in the streets, and paraded up and down on the 'monkey parades'. The beginnings of a distinct youth culture can be traced to the late nineteenth century, and the street and neighbourhood provided its forum. Dangerous amusements explores these sites of leisure and courtship, examining how young working-class men and women engaged with their environment. Drawing on an extensive range of sources, from newspapers and institutional records to oral histories and autobiography, this book traces the movements of young people across space. Exploring the relationship between the leisure lives of the young working class and urban space, this book offers a sensitive reappraisal of working-class youth and will be essential reading for historians of modern Britain.


Part I: Leisure and the young working class
1 Leisure, courtship and the young working class
2 'The need for wholesome influences is great': rational recreation
Part II: Youthful leisure and the urban landscape
3 Home, neighbourhood and community
4 Regulating youthful leisure: streets and public space
5 Walking in the city: the 'monkey parades'


Laura Harrison is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of the West of England, Bristol

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