The Revolution of the Dons, Cambridge and Society in Victorian England by Sheldon Rothblatt (1968)


This sensitive and lively 1968 history made an important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between higher education and social change in nineteenth-century England, showing how the internal life of an ancient university was affected by historic events extrinsic to it. The role that university was required to play in society was being forced to evolve: no longer a finishing school for the aristocracy, universities were becoming a place of professional training for the middle classes. This required a new generation of dons to relate tradition to the ideals of the modern world. By showing how Cambridge managed to preserve its aristocratic values without losing its influence in an increasingly industrial and professional society, Dr Rothblatt explores the larger question of a university's impact upon social change. This fascinating work combines historical scholarship with a perceptive appreciation of the social functions of higher education in an industrialised world.

Publication date: 
January 1, 1968
Publication type: