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Teaching and Learning in Nineteenth-Century Cambridge


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It was in the 19th and early 20th centuries that Cambridge, characterised in the previous century as a place of indolence and complacency, underwent the changes which produced the institutional structures which persist today. Foremost among them was the rise of mathematics as the dominant subject within the university, with the introduction of the Classical Tripos in 1824, and Moral and Natural Sciences Triposes in 1851. Responding to this, Trinity was notable in preparing its students for honours examinations, which came to seem rather like athletics competitions, by working them hard at college examinations. The admission of women and dissenters in the 1860s and 1870s was a major change ushered in by the Royal Commission of 1850, which finally brought the colleges out of the middle ages and strengthened the position of the university, at the same time laying the foundations of the new system of lectures and supervisions. Contributors: JUNE BARROW-GREEN, MARY BEARD, JOHN R. GIBBINS, PAULA GOULD, ELISABETH LEEDHAM-GREEN, DAVID McKITTERICK, JONATHAN SMITH, GILLIAN SUTHERLAND, CHRISTOPHER STRAY, ANDREW WARWICK, JOHN WILKES.


A worthy addition to the bookshelves of those interested in the history of Cambridge or in the cultural and intellectual currents of nineteenth-century England. ALBION


First Published: 01 Dec 2001
13 Digit ISBN: 9780851157832
Pages: 235
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Boydell Press

Details updated on 25 Sep 2015


  • 1  The Analytical Revolution from Below: Private Teaching and Mathematical Reform in Georgian Cambridge
  • 2  A parochial anomaly? The Classical Tripos 1822-1900
  • 3  'A mist of prejudice': the reluctant acceptance of Modern History at Cambridge, 1845-1873
  • 4  Constructing knowledge in mid-Victorian Cambridge: the Moral Sciences Tripos 1850-70
  • 5  Learning to pick the easy plums: the Invention of Ancient History in nineteenth-century Classics
  • 6  The Revolution in College Teaching: St John's College, 1850-1926
  • 7  Trinity College Annual Examinations in the Nineteenth Century
  • 8  'Girton for ladies, Newnham for governesses'
  • 9  Models of learning? The 'logical, philosophical and scientific woman' in late nineteenth-century Cambridge
  • 10  Where did undergraduates get their books?
  • 11  'The advantage of proceeding from an author of some scientific reputation': Isaac Todhunter and his mathematics textbooks
  • 12  Afterword