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Coastal Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century$
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Matthew Ingleby and Matthew P. M. Kerr

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474435734

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474435734.001.0001

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The Battle of Torquay: The Late Victorian Resort as Social Experiment

The Battle of Torquay: The Late Victorian Resort as Social Experiment

(p.79) Chapter 4 The Battle of Torquay: The Late Victorian Resort as Social Experiment
Coastal Cultures of the Long Nineteenth Century

James Kneale

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers drink and temperance in Victorian ports and resorts. Where there was drink there would invariably be temperance; the visibility of drunkenness in the major British ports made them the focus of temperance reform. Temperance also figured in smaller towns, becoming one aspect of polite society in fashionable resorts and even financing public works. But was there anything specific about drink and temperance on the coast? Rob Shields once suggested that such ‘places on the margin’ might allow heterotopic reworkings of social order. The ‘Battle of Torquay’ between well-heeled Torquay society and working-class Salvation Army members suggests the coast as a site of transformation, but also that social control could be turned on abstainers as well as drinkers, producing less progressive places on the coast as well as more liberal ones.

Keywords:   Torquay, Temperance, Tourism, Victorian history

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