Who Do You Think You Are?


There is a good chance that any young, literate and numerate man in the 19th century worked as a clerk, either temporarily or for a career. As the Industrial Revolution progressed, the economy of Britain shifted to become one of business, a growth in commercial operations leading to opportunity for a burgeoning middle class. White-collar work was taken on by young, ambitious men seeking upward mobility (women would later become clerks, but for much of the 19th century it was largely a male occupation). These might be men from well-to-do families – who would start off as a junior to learn business procedures, perhaps to set up in a family business – or those whose financial backgrounds were

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