England - 18th Century - LPC Library Research Guide

Social, Political, Military, Aesthetic, Literary History, 1750-1850

Please ask a reference librarian for assistance at any time. We will be glad to help!

Reference Sources

Use reference sources for background information, broad overviews and summaries. The reference collection includes general and subject dictionaries and encyclopedias, biographies, directories, almanacs, atlases, etc. Many also contain bibliographies for further research. Reference books cannot be checked out from the library but may be photocopied.


City of Laughter:  Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London.  HQ18 G7 G38 2007.


Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture. Ref PR461.C597 1999

Dictionary of Literary Biography: British Romantic Novelists, 1789-1832. Vol. 116. Ref P861.B74 1992

Dictionary of Literary Biography: Victorian Novelists Before 1885. Vol. 21. Ref PR875.V55 1983 - DICKENS

Dictionary of Literary Biography: Victorian Poets Before 1850. Vol. 32. Ref PR591.V53 1984

Elements of Style. Ref NA2850.E44 1991 (pictures of Regency interiors)

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. Ref B802.48 1996

Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000. Ref HN373.E63 2001 v. 1 - 5

Encyclopedia of Kitchen History. Ref TX653.S57 2004

Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850. Ref NX452.5.R64.E53 2003 v.1 & 2.

Enyclopedia of the Victorian Era. Ref DA550.E527 2004 v. 1-4

"Governesses" in Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture. Ref PR461.C597, pp. 70, 203.

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life: A Tour through History from Ancient Times to the Present. Ref GT31.G74 2004. Vol. 4: 17th and 18th centuries, Vol. 5: 19th century.

Novels for Students. Ref PN3385.N68 1997 v. 1 -- (more than 20 volumes: period, historical setting. For example: Charles Dickens)

The Victorians at War 1815 - 1914: An Encyclopedia of British Military History. Ref DA68.R38 2004

Books & Audiovisuals

Use the library catalog to find materials in the library. This will show you all the books and audiovisual materials both LPC Library and Chabot library own. You can search for a book or video by the author, title, subject, or keyword. A subject search allows you to find books about a topic or a person. In power search you may also LIMIT your search in many ways, for instance by type, "DVD" or type, "video" to find only DVDs or videos. Many of the titles below are on reserve at the circulation desk.

Examples of subject headings:

  • Enlightenment (age of reason)
  • Epidemics - history
  • George III
  • Great Britain - Social Life and Customs - 18th century
  • Great Britain - Social Life and Customs - 19th century
  • Jane Austen
  • Victorian England

Other useful library catalog keyword search terms:

  • Keyword: England AND regency
  • Keyword: Great Britain AND history AND 18th century
  • Keyword: medicine AND history AND Great Britain
  • Keyword: marriage AND Great Britain AND 19th century
  • Keyword: English gardens AND history
  • Keyword: Capability Brown
  • Keyword: industrial revolution AND Great Britain

Use these variations for the above keywords: 18th and eighteenth, or England, Great Britain, Britain, British, and English

Selected Book Titles at LPC

A short list of books on the subjects above follow. Be sure to search the catalog, not all of the books LPC owns on the subjects above are on this list. New books are often added to the Library.

The 18th Century, 1701-1800.  REF D286 G74 2003.

Age of Enlightenment. CB411.G3 (p. 65, 11, 117, 118, 133)

Age of Napoleon. DC201 C64 2004

Age of Reason. CB411.N5

An Elegant Art: Fashion and Fantasy in the Eighteenth Century. GT585.L64

Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830. D383.J64 1991 ("Fresh Air and Drowsy Syrups.", "Honorable Gentlemen and Weaker Vessels", George IV, rise of interior decoration, fashions, battles of the sexes, Jane Austen, marriage law, divorce)

Bloom’s Modern Critical Views:  Jane Austen.  PR4037 J28 2004

British Country House in the Eighteenth Century. HT65.G7.C47 2000

British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History. TX717.S754 2003

“British Gambling, 1750-1914.”  The History of Gambling:  Roll the Bones.  HV6710 S38 2006.

The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy.  REF B802 C24 2006.

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine. R131.C232 1996

Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape. SB470.B7.T87 (pp. 68, 87, 137)

Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life. HQ792.F7.A73

Charles Darwin. QH31.D2.C46

Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow. RA649.5 .S66 S647 2003
Common Man through the Centuries: A Book of Costume Drawings. GT720.B37

Companion to Eighteenth-Century Britain. DA480 C58 2002. (excellent chapter topics-manufacturing and commerce, laboring poor, women and family, crime and punishment, the Royal Navy - on Reserve)

Complete History of Costume & Fashion from Ancient Egypt to the Present Day.  GT511 C668 2001

Concise History of Western Music.  ML160 G823 2006

Constable: The Painter and His Landscape. ND497.C7.R67

Daily Life in 18th Century England. DA485.O47 1999. (on Reserve)

Dark Angel: Aspects of Victorian Sexuality. HQ18.G7.H37

Eighteenth-Century Popular Culture. DA485.E43 2000

Elizabeth Bennet. Bloom’s Major Literary Characters. PR4034.P72 E45 2004

England in the Age of Hogarth. DA 485 J37

England in Transition. DA485.G4 1965

English Men and Manners in the 18th Century. DA485.T75

English: A Social History, 1066-1945. DA110.H48 1987 (toothache - p.441, student university schedule - p.459, Masters and workers - p.466, on Reserve)

Europe in the Eighteenth Century. D286 A5 1976

Europe in the Eighteenth Century, 1713-1783. D286.A5 1976.

Fabric of Society: A Century of People and their Clothes, 1770-1870. GT736.T69 1983.

Family & Friends in Eighteenth-Century England: Household, Kinship, and Patronage. DA485.T24 2001

Fashion in Costume 1200-1900. GT511.N86 1984

Fashion in the French Revolution. GT867.R53 1988

Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century. GT580.F37 2002. (beautiful illustrations, short but good text)

First Four Georges. DA480.P55 2000

Food Culture in Great Britain. TX717.M387 2004

Friends of the Family: The English Home and Its Guardians, 1850-1940. HQ615.B45 1998

George III. DA506.A2.H53 1998

The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic -- And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. RC133.G6 J64 2006

Girls Growing Up In Late Victorian and Edwardian England. HQ798.D85

Governesses: A History of Their Own: Women in Europe. HQ1587 A53 1988 v.2.

Governesses: Our Mothers. DA533.B62 1969. (Chabot)

Governesses: The Unnatural History of the Nanny. HQ769.G29 1973 (Chabot)

A History of Fashion and Costume:  The Eighteenth Century.  REF GT585 R66 2005.

A History of Fashion and Costume:  The Nineteenth Century.  REF GT595 S74 2005.

History of Gardens and Gardening. SB451.H9

History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present. HQ1587 .A53 1988 v.2 (p. 122)

Houses of Hanover and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. DA480.C56 2000 (p.38, 40, 47)

Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age. HV4086.A3.H55 1983.

Industrial Revolution. HC254.5.T73.

Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century. HC254.5.M33.

Industry and Empire: From 1750 to the Present Day. HC253.H57 1969.

Ingenious Women from Tincture of Saffron to Flying Machines. HQ1397.J34 2003.

Isaac Cruikshank and the Politics of Parody: Watercolors in the Huntington Collection. NC1479.C94.A4 1994

Jane Austen: A Life. PR4036.T66 1997

Jane Austen and Her World. PR4036.L38 1975

Jane Austen's Emma . Modern Critical Interpretations. PR4034 .E53 J36 1987

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Bloom’s Guides. PR4034 .P72 J365 2004

Jane Austen's World : The Life and Times of England's Most Popular Author. PR4038.E46.L37 1996B (on Reserve)

Jane Austen: A Companion. PR4038.E46.R67 2003

Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft. PR5841.W8.Z84

Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History. HT653.G7.G57

Life of Adam Smith. HB103.S6.R2 1965

Lives of the Kings and Queens of England. DA28.1.L58 1975B

London Mob: Violence and Disorder in Eighteenth Century England. HV6485.G72.L668 2004

Loving, Parenting and Dying: The Family Cycle in England and America, Past and Present. HQ 615.L68 1980

Madness: A Brief History. RC438.P67 2002

Making of the English Working Class.  HD8388 T47 1966.

Medicine: An Illustrated History. R131.L95 (on Reserve)

Middling Sort of People: Culture, Society and Politics in England, 1550-1800. DA320.M533 1994

Napoleon as Military Commander. DC203.9.M26 1998

Napoleon: Man and Myth. DC203.J68

Polite Tourist: Four Centuries of Country House Visiting. DA660.T56 1998

Puppetry: A World History. PN1972.B57 2005

Reynolds. ND497.R4.A4 1986

Samuel Johnson: A Biography. PR3533.W33 1975

Searching for Jane Austen. PR4037.A93 2004

Small House in Eighteenth-Century London. NA7552.G85 2004

Speaking Volumes: Women, Reading, and Speech in the Age of Austen. PR868.W6.M53 2002

Sport, Economy and Society in Britain, 1750-1914. GV706.5.T73 1998

Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump : John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera. RA644 .C3 H46 2006

Streets of London: From the Great Fire to the Great Stink. DA685.A1.S75 2003. (Chapters: "Gender, Authority and the Mob in St. Martin's Roundhouse Disaster of 1742," "Graffiti in 18th Century London," "Illegitimacy , Sexual Relations and Location in Metropolitan London," "Poor in 18th Century London," "Pickpockets and Shoplifters in London, 1780-1823")

Student Companion to Jane Austen. PR4036.T38 2000

Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present. HC 240 L26 (good section on Britain)

Undertaker of the Mind:  John Monro and Mad-doctoring in Eighteenth-Century England.  RC438.6 M66 A53 2001

Victorian America: Tansformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915. E168.S35 1992

Victorian Underworld. HV6949.E5.T48 1998

Wedgwood: the First Tycoon. NK4210.W4.D65 2004

Western  Medicine:  An Illustrated History.  R131 W47 1997.

What Jane Austen Wore and Charles Dickens Knew. PR468.S6.P66 1993 (on Reserve)

When the King Took Flight. DC137.05.T33 2003. (French history)

Wives and Daughters: Women and Children in the Georgian Country House. DA28.35.F69.M37 2004

World in 1776. D289.D35 (pp. 237, 242)

World of Gainsborough. ND497.G2.L4 (pp. 117, 125, 149)

World of Hogarth. ND 497.H7

Writer's Guide to Daily Life in Regency and Victorian England. DA533.H93 1998. (on Reserve)

DVDs and Videos

Austen Country. DVD PR4038.E46 A97

Jane Austen's Life, Society, and Works. MV 23108, pts.1-3.

Landmarks of Western Art: Rococo to Revolution. MV 23034

Madness of King George. DVD PN1997.M336

Tom Jones. DVD PR3452.T6 2002 pt.1-2

Print and Audiovisual Material Specifically on the British Navy:

The British Navy and the State in the 18th Century. VA454.W595 2004

Command at Sea: Naval Command and Control Since the Sixteenth Century. VB212.P36 2005

The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815. DA87.R65 2005.

Every Man Will Do His Duty: An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts from the Age of Nelson, 1793-1915. DA87.1 N4 E94 1997

Harbors and High Seas: An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brien. PR6029.B55.Z73 2000

Nelson's Navy. DA87.H39 1993

Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle that Changed the World. DA88.5 1805.A35 2005

Novels of Patrick O'Brien. PR6029.B55.Z73 2000

Patrick O'Brian's Navy. PR6029.B55.Z77 2003

The Victory of Seapower: Winning the Napoleonic War 1806-1814. DC226.4.W66 2001

To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World. VA454.H551 2004

Victory of Seapower: Winning the Napoleonic War, 1806-1814. DC226.4.W66 2001

World of Jack Aubrey: Twelve-Pounders, Frigates, Cutlasses, and Insignia of His Majesty's Royal Navy. PR6029.B55.Z755 2003

DVDs and Videos

Hornblower Series. DVD PR6066.A6

Master and Commander. DVD PN1995.9 .H5 2004

Sea Warriors: The Royal Navy in the Age of Sail. DVD DA87.N4.S43 2003

Periodicals & Electronic Print Resources

Periodicals provide in-depth analyses of events and trends, research studies on particular subjects, and professional literature.

You may find articles by using an electronic print resource. These databases can be accessed in the LPC Library or from home at the LPC Library Homepage. The best choices for these topics are:

Academic Search Complete and History Reference Center

Academic Search Complete contains thousands of citations and full-text articles on social, scientific, health, historic, business, economic, political and global issues from magazines, journals, and newspapers.

History Reference Center - contains thousands of citations and full-text articles on history. It features cover-to-cover full text for more than 650 historical encyclopedias and other non-fiction books. The database also includes full text for more than 50 leading history periodicals.

In both databases under Search Options you can also limit your search in order to retrieve materials from peer-reviewed journals or full-text articles. If you are looking for something from a specific publication you can limit your search by entering the name of the magazine or journal. You may also choose to search more than one database at the same time by checking them before clicking "continue".

Suggestion: Do keyword searches for one of the topics below.

  • women AND eighteenth century AND England
  • women AND nineteenth century AND Great Britain
  • health AND 18th century AND Great Britain
  • medicine AND England AND 19th century
  • disease AND England AND 19th century
  • England AND social conditions AND 19th century
  • England AND social conditions AND nineteenth century (fewer)
  • marriage AND 18th century AND Britain
  • family AND 18th century AND England
  • social classes AND England AND 18th/19th century
  • "industrial revolution" AND "Great Britain"
  • leisure AND England AND 18th century
  • transportation AND Great Britain AND history

More topic suggestions and good searches in Academic Search Complete:

  • Architecture AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Art AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Birth control AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Class AND 18th century AND Britain
  • Costume AND England AND History AND 18th century
  • Dickens 1812-1870
  • Drama AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Drugs (such as laudanum)
  • England AND social conditions AND 18th century
  • Family AND eighteenth century AND England
  • Great Britain AND industries AND history
  • Great Britain AND "social life and customs" AND 18th century
  • Health and 18th century AND England OR Britain
  • Industrial Revolution AND Britain
  • Landscape gardening AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Landscaping AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Literature AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Manners AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Marriage OR divorce AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Medicine AND Great Britain AND history AND 18th century
  • Philosophy AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Religion AND Britain AND 18th century
  • Restoration AND 18th century AND 1560-1798
  • Science AND mathematics AND history AND 18th century
  • Single women AND Europe AND social conditions

Literature Resource Center

Contains biographies, criticism, work overviews and explications, Websites, periodical articles, and more.

Suggestion: Do keyword searches for one of the topics below.

  • Charlotte Bronte
    Jane Eyre
    Overview under Criticism (Jane Eyre, article "Literature and Its Time," article on governesses)
  • Mary Wollstonecraft
    Overview under Criticism

Internet Resources

You may want to explore some Internet resources to supplement or enhance your research. Always be cautious of information you find on the Web since the quality of sources varies tremendously on the Internet. It is always a good idea to check the information against another source. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, you evaluate its quality based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy:      Is it free from mistakes and errors?
  • Authority:      What are the qualifications of the author?
  • Objectivity:      Is there any strong bias?
  • Currency:      Is the information up-to-date?
  • Coverage:      To what extent is the topic explored?

Use the Librarians' Internet Index (

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "Jane Austen" or other pertinent terms. Once you find a good site listed, try the subject headings listed below the annotated citation for more information.

If you use Google (, use "Advanced Search"

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for

    regency England - limit to the domain .edu

    military Britain 19th century - limit to the domain .edu

18th Century and Victorian Times

The following resources are useful links that focus on the eighteenth century, including Victorian times. Many of the citations are adapted from the annotated links of the Librarians' Internet Index,

British Titles of Nobility - An Introduction and Primer to the Peerage. "While one can read any of Georgette Heyer's Regencies without knowing much more, understanding the underlying framework can add greatly to one's enjoyment of not only Heyer's novels, but other English literature like Austen, the Brontës, Burney, Trollope, James, Doyle, Hardy, Thackeray, Eliot, Dickens, and of course, Sayers."

City of Shadows: 19th Century London and England Through A Glass Darkly - the history and times of Victorian England, including murder, ghosts, art, society, photographs, and London. A wonderful overview of a significant era in England's history.

Cornell Costume and Textile Collection - features an online gallery of selected items from the collection of European and American fashions from the 18th century to the present, searchable by description, designer, donor, date, country of origin, time span...

Eighteenth-Century Resources - collection of resources on the Internet related to the eighteenth century, including "...information on literature, history, art, music, religion, economics, philosophy, and so on, from around the world"

Eighteenth-Century Studies - this site collects works on the eighteenth century from the perspectives of literary and cultural studies, including novels, plays, memoirs, treatises and poems of the period

Eighteenth-Century Studies Journal - publication of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, "the best of current writing on all aspects of eighteenth-centry culture" which is indexed but not offered in full text in Academic Search Elite.

Godey's Lady's Book Online -" of the most popular lady's books of the 19th century. Each issue contained poetry, beautiful engraving and articles by some of the most well known authors in America."

Jane Austen Centre in Bath, England - "a new permanent exhibition which tells the story of Jane's Bath experience - the effect that living here had on her and her writing... The city is still very much as Jane Austen knew it, preserving in its streets, public buildings and townscapes the elegant well-ordered world that she portrays so brilliantly in her novels. Now the pleasure of exploring Jane Austen's Bath can be enhanced by visiting the Jane Austen Centre in Gay Street. Here, in a Georgian town house in the heart of the city, the visitor can find out more about Bath in Jane Austen's time and the importance of Bath in her life and work."

Museum of Costume, Bath - "focuses on fashionable dress for men, women and children from the late 16th century to the present day." Also includes information about the history of the 18th century Assembly Rooms. Available in English and French.

Proceedings of the Old Bailey - "fully searchable online edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court"

Regency Fashion History - 1800's Costume History by Pauline Weston Thomas for

Republic of Pemberley (RoP) - offers information on Jane Austen's writings and movie adaptations from her novels and contains the Jane Austen Information Page which includes texts of her novels, biographical information, sites with photographs and copies of artwork, as well as excerpts from the Austen-L mailing list on various topics from her writings

Snow, John - "This site is devoted to the life and times of Dr. John Snow (1813-1858), a legendary figure in the history of public health, epidemiology and anesthesiology." Includes maps of the 1854 London cholera outbreak and Snow's observations on the outbreaks in Victorian London. Offers other theories of cholera transmission and present-day reports of cholera

SparkNotes - study guides for nearly 100 literature classics created by Harvard University students and alumni, containing sections on context, characters, overall summary, chapter-by-chapter summary and commentary, study questions

Victorian Dictionary - dictionary of the social history of nineteenth century Victorian London, divided into 40 categories (including historical maps), and defined through historical extracts, anecdotes, articles, and manuscripts

Victorian Architecture - a collection of information about Victorian architecture, including illustrations, links, and discussions on styles, such as Italianate, Gothic Revival, Shingle, Romanesque, and Queen Anne, etc.

Victorian Web - links to political and social history, gender matters, philosophy, religion, science, technology, theater and popular entertainment, economic contexts, visual arts, and more from the Victorian era

Voice of the Shuttle - links to resources of the humanities and related social sciences, by discipline, with separate sections for English Literature, including:

English Literature by Period: Restoration & 18th Century - general resources in Restoration & 18th Century Literature: Authors, Works, Projects; Course Syllabi; Criticism; Journals (18th-C. British Literature); Listservs & Newsgroups (18th-C. Literature); and Conferences (18th-C. Literature)

English Literature by Period: Victorian - general resources in Victorian Literature: Authors, Works, Projects; Selected Victorian Writers on Social Issues; Course Syllabi; Criticism; Journals (Victorian Literature); Listservs & Newsgroups (Victorian Literature); and Conferences (Victorian Literary Studies)

Citation of Sources

Keep printouts of your sources, or write out all pertinent information on author, title, publisher, date, or Internet address to identify where you got the information. Follow the format recommended by your instructor or ask a librarian to show you a "style manual." You also may use the Citation Style Guides link for MLA style, as well as the online resource, NoodbleBib, a bibliography composer, at (or from the LPC Library Homepage) for online help. Please ask a reference librarian for help!

Study guide by Charlotte Bagby
Book list compiled by Barbara Hardy


Last Updated: September 10, 2009


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Page last modified: March 12, 2015