Age of the Do-Gooders
 General Information
Ian Hislop rescues the reputation of the maverick 'Do-Gooders' who he believes fixed the 19th century's version of 'broken Britain' in this new history series. Irresistibly easy to mock, these busy bodies are highly unfashionable today. But they are heroes to Ian - extraordinary men and women who precipitated the most remarkable period of social change in British history and, Ian argues, left us with a nation worth living in. And yet unlike notable Victorian royals, inventors, politicians and generals, many of them have been all but forgotten.
Ian calls William Wilberforce 'the godfather of the Do-Gooders'. Hedonistic man-about-town turned crusader, Wilberforce kick-started a multi-faceted moral revolution which reverberated throughout the 19th century, of which his successful campaign to abolish slavery was just one element.
 Britain's Moral Makeover
In this first programme, Ian also tells the story of Robert Owen and his model mill town at New Lanark in Scotland; Thomas Wakley, founder of The Lancet, who exposed the fatal consequences of cronyism in the surgical profession; and George Dawson, inventor of the civic gospel which inspired a generation of Brummies to take responsibility for their city.
Ian also looks back on the impact of Charles Trevelyan, who battled to make the civil service a meritocracy and Octavia Hill, a pioneer of social housing, despite her opposition to cash hand-outs or anything that might create a dependency culture.
 Suffer the Little Children
Ian Hislop continues his celebration of the dynamic and eccentric Victorian reformers who brought about the most remarkable period of social change in British history. Here Ian looks at the do-gooders' dramatic struggle to give youngsters a proper childhood, sending them to school instead of up chimneys, helping rather than hanging juvenile delinquents and raising the age of consent.
Dr Barnardo founded one of the most famous charities of his era. But his methods were decidedly dodgy: he was guilty of misleading advertising, photo-fakery and even child abduction. Yet, we owe our own concept of child protection - that children have rights independently from their parents - to Thomas Barnardo. Indefatigable Bristol spinster Mary Carpenter's radical approach to helping young offenders was years ahead of its time. But even her patience ran out with some of the errant teenage girls at her pioneering reformatory school. Maverick newspaper editor WT Stead shocked the nation with his lurid exposé of child prostitution - an exclusive which involved him buying a 13-year-old virgin for five pounds. His style and methods make today's tabloid newspapers seem tame. Stead managed to get the age of consent raised to 16, where it remains to this day.
Thanks to the Earl of Shaftesbury, children as young as five stopped being sent down mines. His lifetime's work for children is celebrated in the famous monument at Piccadilly Circus - not actually Eros (sexual love) but Anteros (selfless love).Charles Kingsley's best-selling The Water Babies was crucial in banning the practice of sending small boys up chimneys. To him children were innocent, not tainted with original sin. Yet after him, Victorians sentimentalized children to a degree which we today find hard to stomach.
 Sinful Sex and Demon Drink
The pleasures and perils of booze and sex are the focus for the final episode of Ian Hislop's series about Victorian reformers, campaigners and philanthropists. In attempting to wean Britons off alcohol and away from vice, Ian wonders whether the 'Do-Gooders', despite their extraordinary energy and success in transforming every other aspect of 19th century society, had finally bitten off more than they could chew.
Ian recovers the hidden histories and remarkable lives of five individuals who gave their all to cure the nation's moral incontinence. But in doing so, Ian also encounters the occasional skeleton in the closet.
Three times Prime Minister William Gladstone spent a lifetime touring the streets of London's West End trying to rescue prostitutes. He brought many home to his wife, giving them a meal and a bed for the night. So was this pure philanthropy or something of a darker obsession?
Meanwhile, pioneering sex educator Ellice Hopkins took her efforts to save fallen women one step further - by devoting her life to the thankless task of promoting male chastity.
Joseph Livesey made his home-town Preston the epicentre of the global temperance movement. Thanks to his charisma, many took 'the pledge' of total abstinence. Yet many more continued to take what was known as 'St. Monday' to sleep off their hangovers.
The artist George Cruikshank had grown up an enthusiastic drinker but became one of the nation's most zealous temperance campaigners. His masterpiece, The Worship of Bacchus, reveals British society to be corrupted by alcohol from top to bottom. So why did Cruikshank leave a substantial wine cellar to his housemaid turned mistress?
 Technical Specs
- Video Codec: x264 CABAC
- Video Bitrate: 1600 Kbps
- Video Resolution: 832x468
- Video Aspect Ratio: 1.777:1
- Frames Per Second: 25
- Audio Codec: AAC
- Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps VBR 48KHz
- Audio Streams: 2ch
- RunTime Per Part: 59 mins
- Number Of Parts: 3
- Part Size: 730 MB
- Source: DVB-T (BBC4)
 Further Information
 Release Post
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 ed2k Links
BBC.Ian.Hislops.Age.of.the.Do-Gooders.1of3.Britains.Moral.Makeover.PDTV.x264.AAC.MVGroup.org.mkv (731.53 Mb) Subtitles: [eng]
BBC.Ian.Hislops.Age.of.the.Do-Gooders.2of3.Suffer.the.Little.Children.PDTV.x264.AAC.MVGroup.org.mkv (732.02 Mb) Subtitles: [eng]
BBC.Ian.Hislops.Age.of.the.Do-Gooders.3of3.Sinful.Sex.and.Demon.Drink.PDTV.x264.AAC.MVGroup.org.mkv (730.26 Mb) Subtitles: [eng]