Unlike its counterpart virtue (the word that Margaret Thatcher really meant to revive, instead of value), vice is one of those terms that feels like it went out with the Victorians. For that reason, at least partly, it has rarely been studied in depth. As Huggins shows, the subject is more typically handled piecemeal—by studying alcoholism or prostitution, or the illicit pleasures on offer in cities like London—and through the eyes of those who left detailed records about trying to curb it. Little consensus exists about which of the many nineteenth-century vices constituted the worst and for whom. To some extent, the difficulty comes from the fact that the general issue cuts across distinctions of class, region, religion, or party affiliation; various constituencies vied to draw attention to what they saw as the vices of others. The Victorians, as we are increasingly coming to know them, were far less...
Vice and the Victorians. By Mike Huggins (London, Bloomsbury, 2015) 201 pp. $112.00 cloth $34.95 paper
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Simon Joyce; Vice and the Victorians. By Mike Huggins (London, Bloomsbury, 2015) 201 pp. $112.00 cloth $34.95 paper. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2016; 47 (3): 418–420. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_01032
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