Dickens's literary defences of moderate drinking

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As anti-drink campaigning gained traction in the 1850s, it was supported by the forceful fiction of upcoming (often female) writers such as Ellen Wood and Clara Lucas Balfour. In reaction, significant established forces in contemporary fiction like Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins began to write against these temperance messages to support moderate drinking as a source of relaxation and relief. This article will explore tensions in the public and private discourses on what constituted acceptable levels of drinking in the mid-nineteenth century with particular attention to gender and class differences in these attempts to establish or protect cultural ‘norms’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural and Social History
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021

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