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The United Kingdom in 1882 was ruled over by Queen Victoria, who had been the ruling monarch for over four decades. Her reign was long and prosperous, and allowed for an educated middle class to take shape. This educated middle class is what the Victorian Era is named for. The Victorians were known for having distinct social classes.
Etiquette was something that was thought highly of and strictly adhered to. There were many rules and the time era is often referred to as "prudish," though some would argue that it was simply because they thought highly of modesty.
Courtship between ladies and gentleman had one goal- to end in marriage. The decision to get married was more of a political move than a romantic one. While romance was involved, both the man and woman needed to calculate how the marriage might benefit themselves and was never entered into lightly. Once married, any property that the woman might own then would belong to him.
Now, think of all this and add the wizarding world into it. Due to the strict belief of adhering to normalcy no matter the cost, the muggles of the Victorian Era forced the wizarding families to go into exile. They were not accepted at social functions, they were fired from their jobs and some were even violently chased out of town. Slowly, they all began to filter into the village of Hogsmeade- right outside of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Houses were built and refurnished, business created and reestablished, and the wizarding families created a society of their own.
Being the only wizarding village of its kind, Hogsmeade is a safe haven for witches and wizards alike. They need not worry about hiding their powers nor dressing and acting like muggles. Magic is entirely out in the open for all to see.
However, Hogsmeade's popularity had the city bursting at the seams. There was no more room for the increasing population. After a several month long expedition led by groups of Hogsmeade citizens, a muggle town on the other side of the mountains was discovered. A deal was struck up and muggles and wizards alike are forced to learn how to cohabitate in the new town, Irvingly.
Family life between the three distinct social classes were all very different. Children of the wealthy were spoiled with attention and gifts, and were often taught by governesses who lived with their families. Once the children reached the age of eleven and received their Hogwarts letters, the governess was sent away and the children began boarding at the school at the start of the term. Once they left Hogwarts in their seventh year, each gender went their separate ways. The men would go off in search of an occupation to become successful at. It would take them a decade or so to become established enough in society to be able to consider marriage, as a man must own his own home in order to have a wife, as well as be able to support her in the lifestyle that she is used to.
Once the ladies left school, they would have a Coming Out Ball. A young lady's 'Coming Out' was her introduction into adult society. It announced that she had completed her education and was eligible for marriage. Usually, it took place when the girl was seventeen or eighteen. She would purchase an entirely new wardrobe for the upcoming season. Hogwarts hosts an annual Coming Out Ball for all of it's female seventh years regardless of social class, though some (mainly the upper class families) choose to have their own private Coming Out. It was common for a girl to marry a man between five and ten years her elder, as it was nearly impossible for a man her own age to be well established. Once married, it was a woman's job to manage the household servants, budget, and daily going-ons as well as make house calls to represent her husband and herself. (You can read more about courtship and marriage in our helpful Documentation forum).
The rising middle class strove to become ladies and gentleman- esteemed members of society. While such titles were once only given to those who had noble birth and coincidentally wealth, as the middle class rose in education men were accepted as gentleman as long as they had a private school education, no matter what his antecedents might be. A lady was agreed to have been given an acceptable education as well.
The middle class were less formal of a group and certainly more cozy. The home was the center of family life and it was the wife's job to keep it clean and neat. She would most likely have a servant or a housekeeper to assist her with this. Depending upon the husband's occupation, they might have been able to afford a live-in governess to teach their children until they reached the age of which they could attend Hogwarts. If not, the mother would send them to a private tutor- who often taught elementary things such as how to read and write as well as etiquette. The tutor often had her own school for such things, though in Hogsmeade the tutor's run their schools out of their own homes. After attending Hogwarts, the males either began to learn about their family's business/trade or went off in search of an occupation. The ladies often mingled with the upper class in hopes of "marrying up" to improve their station in life.
The working class were often viewed as the lowest class. They consisted of servants, coal miners, prostitutes and other low-paying jobs. Child labor was also widely used and accepted, though laws were passed to prevent anyone under the age of nine to work in the textile industry. Their living conditions were poor. It wasn't unusual to find several families living under the same roof. Disease was common under these poor living conditions as well as families who's children were sent out to beg, steal or earn money for their families by any other means. The lower class wizarding families did not send their children to schools before Hogwarts. Every able-bodied member of the family was forced to work, no matter the age. Children as young as three were put to work. The better jobs were serving as messenger boys to the middle and upper class society, though some were not so lucky.
Not all families were able to afford to send their children to Hogwarts. The most promising first-years were given scholarships - the continuation of which depended heavily upon the student's grades. While this would seem like a good deal, most of the children were completely uneducated and did not know how to read and write. They often dropped out before completing their first year. Only a small percentage of these children are able to finish their schooling at Hogwarts. If they are able to finish their seventh-year, they often go out in search of an occupation. Women were often single and became old-maids, as the only jobs that were usually available to them was domestic service (becoming a servant), physically taxing jobs, or prostitution. Men were often in the same boat, though some were able to improve their status by learning a trade and working their way into the middle class.