Research and a TV program are debunking the myth that fathers who enjoy a close bond with their children are a modern notion, reports Steve Humphries. “Many dads...don't conform to the cruel stereotype of the Victorian-style father. The minority of fathers who behaved like this were usually very poor, very rich or very drunk - and were made much of in early cinema films and social reform movements.” “Today there is sometimes more emotional intimacy and closeness than in the past, but a tender and enduring love between fathers and their children was well established in Victorian and Edwardian times.”