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Through examining the texts of a range of social commentators during the nineteenth century, this chapter will argue that a common narrative emerged which deplored the rise of the ‘proletarian’ stoker at the expense of the ‘genuine’ and benign traditional sailor. Likewise, the portrayal of sailortown was transformed from a socially heterogeneous playground to a place of danger and depravity. It will be argued that the Victorian writers’ demonization of Ratcliffe Highway served as a metaphor for wider anxieties of industrial and urban change. As the nineteenth century progressed, such fears cast Ratcliffe Highway not only as a place of maritime Otherness, but a modern, urban space that exuded menacing threats to the stability of class and gender relations.
|Title of host publication||Port towns and urban cultures|
|Subtitle of host publication||international histories of the waterfront, c.1700 - 2000|
|Editors||Brad Beaven, Karl Bell, Robert James|
|Place of Publication||Basingstoke|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Apr 2016|