chapter  4
CHILDHOOD
Pages 7

It was a man’s world, despite poverty; at least so long as a man’s strength lasted. Adult men had the lion’s share of the national income. They alone had the vote. As fathers they were heads of household in law. And there were many families in the early twentieth century which seemed to observe among themselves the same hierarchy of privilege and command which characterized society as a whole: ‘I’ve seen people walking out together with the husband walking two paces in front of the wife…The children tailing behind them too.’1 Was this typical of the Edwardian family? Was the father so much king, the children and mother so separate and subordinate, as this public procession suggests?