Research output: Other contribution


It is hard to think of a Victorian novel without some reference to drinking or drunkenness, whether for comfort or as part of a sinister and devastating plot point. In Britain, alcohol has long been an essential part of society as both stimulant and relaxant, from playing an essential role in social rituals at key life stages (births, marriages, and funerals), to aiding trade negotiations and building trust in communities. This makes drinking habits an ideal lens with which to examine British culture. Ambitious female novelists such as George Eliot and Anne Bronte wrote cautionary tales about the dangers of excessive drinking for both men and women. The advent of the temperance movement in Britain in the 1820s rapidly led to a large network of antidrink publications. These presses, ever searching for material, became an important avenue for women’s writing and a key source of income for many female writers such as Clara Lucas Balfour, Ellen Wood, and Hesba Stretton.
Original languageEnglish
TypeEncyclopedia entry
Media of outputEncyclopedia
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-02721-6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2021

Publication series

NamePalgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing


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