Childhood, Culture, and Class in Britain:
Margaret Mcmillan, 1860-1931
At the end of the 19th century, Margaret McMillan, charismatic member of the Independent Labour Party and socialist propagandist, played a key role in the betterment of children through her writing, her political activism, and her work for the children of Bradford and London. Her passionate belief that children’s lives could be transformed by fresh air, cleanliness and emotional nurturing led her to champion their cause through her prolific writing and speaking, and to create, in the slums of Deptford, a garden for underprivileged children, through whom she reclaimed her own lost childhood. Taking McMillan’s life and work as her starting point, Carolyn Steedman explores a profund tranformation in Western sensibility, and looks at the psychological and political fate of this woman who devoted her life to children.