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Reviews67 the Introduction. Even this reference, however, misattributes to Hughes the illustration on page 89 (to "The Brown Bull of Norrawa") which is by Walter Crane, even bearing Crane's pictogram signature in the lower corner. It almost seems that the names of the artists were not considered important, since they were men. While Forbidden Journeys contains a fine collection of stories, thoughtfully arranged and with a provocative commentary, the book is marred by such lapses, and by the strain sometimes evident to make the material fit the editors' thesis. GWYNETH EVANS Malaspina College H.L. Malchow. Gentlemen Capitalists. The Social and Political World of the Victorian Businessman. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1992. xii + 423. $47.50 US (cloth). As Malchow asserts in an "Introduction," which provides the frame of reference for this important work, "This is a study from four contrasting biographical perspectives, of the Victorian middle class in its domestic, commercial and political setting" and, as such, presents the lives and careers of four businessmen each of whom "achieved considerable distinction in his business career and was subsequently driven, for a variety of reasons, to enter the political world at Westminster. . . ." (1). Hence this exercise deals with the private "world," in which these entrepreneurs achieved through wealth "an independence of action," and the public "world," in which the "endured" and some desired "subordination and relegation" in politics (1). In this context, Malchow's two major objectives are (1) "to examine the way in which businessmen adopted and adapted, patterned their lives, took up and discarded masks in their search ... for identities of their own"; and (2) to illuminate "the social and psychological" milieu in which middleclass wealth was accumulated and "to relate the lives of four representative businessmen ... to a wider culture of family, religion, business and politics . . ." (8-9). Thus Malchow's methodology is "to examine each [life] at length, through domestic beginnings into commercial maturity and then a political career that culminated, in all four cases, in Westminster . . . between the Second and Third Reform Acts . . ." (13). Indeed, as Malchow notes, this is quite difficult because of "the diversity of a middle-class culture without the guidelines the historian may find among the more coherent working-class or landed 68Victorian Review communities . . ." (2). In view of this factor, the four subjects of this study were chosen because they represented "distinct and important sectors of business but were not the richest of those communities" and present "several dimensions of the middle-class world . . ." (2). But Malchow also uses the "biographical case study" approach because it places political and commercial lives in "the context of their domestic and wider social situations" (11). Generally the lives of Samuel Holland (1803-1892), Sir William McArthur (1809-1887), Sir Robert Nicholas Fowler (1828-1891), and that "Clear-headed Man of Affairs", John Holms (1830-1891) "present several dimensions of the [Victorian] commercial middle-class world" (1). Holland, originally a Liverpudlian, spent most of his life and career amassing a fortune as a slate quarry owner in northern Wales; McArthur, an Ulsterman, achieved the great wealth (in trade with Australia) which drew him to London; Fowler, who began life in a London suburb, made his fortune in the City as a private banker before settling his family in the genteel Wiltshire countryside; and Holms, the son of an ordinary middle class commercial family in Paisley, got rich as a worsted manufacturer in Glasgow's textile industry, but resided most of his life in London. In these detailed biographies, Malchow demonstrates how the lives and careers of this quartet reflect "some important themes common to Victorian commercial middle class lives" — (3) three ended their careers in London and all were attracted to national politics after the Second Reform Act, following great success in business. Yet, only McArthur was a self-made man. Basically, what Malchow has attempted to do in the four chapters devoted to the subjects of his study is to examine their political careers "in the context of their public careers" outside of Parliament. This was a very difficult task, but Malchow has succeeded quite well in his portraits of these four personalities and, in so doing, he has effectively challenged the view...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1923-3280
Print ISSN
0848-1512
Pages
pp. 67-69
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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