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Middle-Class Life in Victorian Belfast$
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Alice Johnson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620313

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620313.001.0001

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Portrait of a civic elite

Portrait of a civic elite

(p.18) 1 Portrait of a civic elite
Middle-Class Life in Victorian Belfast

Alice Johnson

Liverpool University Press

This chapter sketches a group portrait of Belfast’s middle-class elite, taking in geographical, religious and class origins, education, wealth, and standards of living. A key focus of this chapter is the mid-century civic elite: that is, those people who dominated municipal life in Belfast in the middle decades of the century. The chapter does, however, go beyond this group, using various case-studies to branch into a much broader discussion of middle-class wealth, standards of living and social mobility. It provides an overview of the Victorian middle-class community as a whole. A fresh look is cast on suburbanisation and how it affected Belfast’s middle-class community. Suburbanisation is a phenomenon related to social mobility and demographic and economic changes, and as such is highly relevant when studying a dynamic community over a period of time.

Keywords:   Civic elite, origins, background, wealth, social mobility, suburbanisation, standard of living, religion, education

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