The Turn of the Screw Historical Context

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The Growth of Towns

The governess's employer, the uncle of Miles and Flora, is conspicuously absent from the story, always in the city, at his house on Harley Street. In Europe in the mid-nineteenth century, this was not uncommon. In 1800, London had approximately nine hundred thousand inhabitants. By 1900, just after James wrote The Turn of the Screw, the population had expanded to 4.7 million. For some, city life meant poverty, as the towns were segregated by class, with the poorer inhabitants living in slums. The more wealthy residents, like the governess's employer, lived in more fashionable districts. As the governess notes, "He had for his town residence a big house filled with the spoils of travel and the trophies of the chase." However, like other wealthy landowners who were able to maintain a second residence, "it was to his country home" that the governess is sent.

Sickness and Medicine

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This section contains 514 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Turn of the Screw Study Guide
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The Turn of the Screw from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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