Well, really high class people didn't have jobs at all. They were landowners who derived their income from rents from tenants etc. The family estate would normally be inherited by the oldest son, younger sons might go into the army or the navy (as officers naturally) or into the church. The law might be an acceptable career, and in the late 1800s perhaps medicine(earlier in the century it did not have a very high status). Girls from high class families would not generally expect to work but would stay at home until they married. However, if her family had fallen on hard times for some reason and she had to earn a living, teaching was respectable. some women, even upper class ones, made a living by writing.
Middle class men might go into various kinds of business, or they might work in banks or be lawyers or doctors or teachers. Lower middle class men might be shopkeepers or clerks. As the 1800s progressed, more middle class women became teachers as the number of schools increased greatly. Women teachers in elementary schools tended to be from working class or lower middle class backgrounds, while teachers in grammar schools or girls private schools would be more likely to be middle class and to have had a university education.
Working class people of both sexes might work in factories. A very large number, especially of women, were employed in domestic service. A lot of women worked at making and mending clothes. Working class men might be skilled artisans, like plumbers, builders, carpenters, potters, smiths, etc. Many men worked in mines, and in the early 1800s women and children also worked down mines, though from the mid-1800s they were banned from working underground. Many working class people of both sexes worked in shops. They might become elementary school teachers by doing an apprenticeship. Girls might become nurses, which was considered a low way to earn a living in the early 1800s, but from the 1850s became more respectable thanks to the reforms of florence Nightingale. In the late 1800s, girls began to work in offices, the invention of the typewriter in particular led to many girls being employed as typists and secretaries. The invention of the telephone also led to more jobs for women, since thousands were employed as telephonists.
The Victorians were great readers, large numbers of novels, newspapers and magazines were produced, catering to all classes and all tastes.
People enjoyed writing letters, and kept up lengthy correspondences with friends and relatives.
Board games and card games were played, as were word games like charades and riddles.
Music was a popular form of entertainment for people of all classes. Anyone who could afford it had a piano, and the daughters of the house would learn to play and sing so they could entertain themselves and friends and relatives. They would buy the latest songs and learn them. Everyone enjoyed dancing, at dances young men would queue up to write their names in girls' dance programmes (dances were numbered).
The theatre was very popular, and working class people enjoyed going to the music hall, where they could see a variety of different turns, singers, dancers, comedians, acrobats, conjurors etc.
Games like tennis, croquet, golf, and archery were enjoyed as they could be played by both sexes and so gave opportunities for socialising. And men of course enjoyed playing football and cricket, or watching them being played. Boxing and wrestling were other popular spectator sports, as was horseracing. those who could afford it enjoyed horseriding, and hunting.
Boating became very popular in the later part of the 1800s, and people of all classes would take boats out on the river. Trips to the seaside were also very popular, cheap day excursions on the railways meant that even a poor family could enjoy a day by the sea.
Answered By: Louise C - 8/9/2010