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Within the UK as a whole, people moved from the countryside into the new industrial cities to find work.

Migrants from across the world also settled in Britain, notably Jews from Europe and Russia.

In the Victorian Era, etiquette lubricated the mechanism of social exchange: There were rules for making new friends, keeping up with old friends and even cutting out morally dubious friends.

But most importantly, knowing the rules helped one show respect for everyone else, including servants, acquaintances, nobility and clergy. It was evident to many even then — social critics of the time popularly mocked the more ridiculous elements of Victorian society.

Over the period there were changes and developments in every sphere of life. This was made up of technological, scientific and industrial innovations (e.g.

mass production, steam engines, railways, sewing machines, gas and electric light, the telegraph) that led to an enormous expansion of production, particularly through the factory system.

The cult of the home grew steadily, with Queen Victoria and her family providing a role model for the nation.

Today, many of these rules seem arbitrary and silly: Does it really matter the order in which dinner party guests enter the dining room?

At the time it did, because such social niceties constituted basic manners and politeness.

It took many years for both government and people to adjust to the new conditions.

Strictly speaking, the Victorian era began in 1837 and ended with Queen Victoria's death in 1901, but the period can be stretched to include the years both before and after these dates, roughly from the Napoleonic Wars until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

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