Uncharted Waters – Drink in 19th century England, with Rob Donovan
My doctoral thesis (2003) maintains that Victorian social cohesion depended on drink. In Norwich, as in other urban centres, population growth led to an expansion of the supply of drink. Inadequate sanitation and water supply problems meant that beer answered a dietary need for a liquid that was safe to drink. Alcohol provided depressant comfort in the face of poverty and squalor for the working class. In these circumstances, most social and political functions were connected to the pub.