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Accommodating the Lodger: The Domestic Arrangements of Lodgers in Working-Class Dwellings in a Victorian Provincial Town

Holmes, Vicky (2014) 'Accommodating the Lodger: The Domestic Arrangements of Lodgers in Working-Class Dwellings in a Victorian Provincial Town.' Journal of Victorian Culture, 19 (3). pp. 314-331. ISSN 1355-5502

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Recent research using coroners' inquests (both the original records and ensuing newspaper reports) has opened the door on the domestic arrangements of the Victorian working classes and the lives of the inhabitants therein, including that of the lodger. It is widely acknowledged that the majority of lodgers in Victorian England's towns and cities resided in private working-class dwellings and, while the census reveals the types of households that took in lodgers, we know little of these lodgers – beyond their age and occupation – or how they were accommodated. This article begins to address this lacuna by bringing the lodger to the forefront of the household. Drawing upon a number of coroners' inquest reports, it explores the lodger and the domestic arrangements of lodgers accommodated in working-class dwellings in the town of Ipswich, asking: (1) What were individuals' reasons for taking up lodgings? (2) What length of time did they spend in lodgings? (3) How and what did they pay for? (4) What was their relationship to those with whom they lodged and what were their daily interactions? and, crucially, (5) How were they accommodated? The findings reveal that the domestic arrangements of lodgers, including where they slept, varied widely. The article demonstrates that we need to reappraise our understanding of the lodger and their place in the home.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lodgers, lodgings, working-class dwellings, coroners', inquests, privacy, sleeping arrangements, newspapers
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:39

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