19th century

Thanks to the Industrial Revolution and the increased productivity it made possible, incomes began rising from the turn of the 19th century. As incomes rose, parents could afford increasing amounts of education for their children. The vigorous growth in schooling was, simply, a response to rising incomes - which is natural and normal.
October marks Black History Month which embraces the history of African, Caribbean and Asian people who have a direct link with the UK through slavery, colonialism or migration. Lascars, or South Asian sailors, must be included in this significant group of survivors.
We no longer view Cora Pearl as a figure to be feared and shunned, to be hidden away from 'respectable' society. What we see instead are her intelligence and wit, her enormous sense of style, her independence of mind. She is, paradoxically, a strikingly modern figure: a woman who had the courage to be completely and wholly herself.
Call someone a scrooge this Christmas, and you’ll be quoting Charles Dickens. In 2012 it will be 200 years since author who