This text draws upon the existing body of literature and incorporates substantial research to provide an interpretative overview of the social history of work in Britain from the late Victorian period to 1950. Different theoretical frameworks are analyzed and the historiography reviewed. McIvor explores the changing nature of work over 1880-1950, focusing upon the occupational profile, work conditions, the labour process, inequalities and discrimination in employment and work culture. Industrial relations and the politics of work are evaluated, and the final section probes the interaction between employment and health. This is a valuable introduction to the history of a crucial element in all our lives.