Villages and towns in the Victorian era saw a great expansion in educational provision, and witnessed the rise of the elementary teaching profession, often provided and supported by local clergymen. This book investigates the social and economic relationships of such clergymen and teachers who worked co-operatively and at times in competition with each other, their relative positions typified by the comment of one contemporary clergyman as 'those of master and servant'. The inevitable result was a complex of movements in society in the final third of the nineteenth century that led to increasing clashes in villages, as one group (the clergy) sought to preserve its hold on its status and power, while the other (male and female teachers) attempted to secure their new role in society.
John T Smith is senior lecturer in education at the University of Hull. He has written numerous articles on nineteenth century education and two books, "Methodism & Education, 18491902" (Clarendon, Oxford, 1998) and "The History of Lady Lumleys Foundation" (LLEF, Pickering, 1990).