The Mystery of a Small Society: The Abolition of the Use of Children in the Sweeping of Chimneys in Nineteenth Century England
Rieder, Samuel C.
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The study of a small society of children employed in the mystery of chimney sweeping reveals a complicated web of social, economic, and political consciousness of nineteenth century England. To praise the work of reformers or to condemn the indifference of the general public in light of modern standards would not justly serve the purpose of attaining a simple understanding of a people and their institutions. Instead, a simple understanding of events past enables the student of history an insight into the lives of a people obscured by time and interpretation. A past that must be understood in its historical actuality and in its extension and expression in modern society.