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    Elite women and the West End town house: creating, maintaining and inhabiting a residence in London, c.1710-c.1750

    Learmouth, Juliet (2021) Elite women and the West End town house: creating, maintaining and inhabiting a residence in London, c.1710-c.1750. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This dissertation examines the relationship between elite women and the London West End town house during the first half of the eighteenth century. To date, the town house has attracted far less scholarly attention than the country house, meaning that the important roles of women as patrons, owners and inhabitants of this building type have been substantially overlooked. Drawing on an extensive range of previously unexplored archival material, this thesis takes a significant step towards redressing this neglect. In addition to exploring women’s roles in the design, construction and decoration of their London residences, it also evaluates the extent to which the town house facilitated their participation in social, familial and cultural exchange in the capital. The first two chapters adopt a biographical approach, contextualising the construction of two architecturally significant houses within the lives of their female patrons. Chapter one focuses on Marlborough House on Pall Mall built by Christopher Wren for Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744), whilst chapter two examines 16 Arlington Street built by James Gibbs for Mary, 8th Duchess of Norfolk (1692-1754). Chapters three and four broaden the lens to examine the experiences of female residents in two contrasting neighbourhoods. First, the thesis turns to the Whitehall area, where various houses were built on the site of the ruined palace. Second, it looks at the Burlington estate, a new development built on land lying to the north of Burlington House on Piccadilly. The final chapter takes a cross-generational approach to a study of 5 St James’s Square, looking at the various roles of three women of the Wentworth family in relation to the property. As this research reveals, studying the experiences of elite eighteenth-century women greatly enriches our understanding of the significance of the West End town house and its place in early Georgian history.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Additional Information: 2 Volumes: Volume One: Text, Volume Two: Illustrations
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2021 09:55
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 14:45


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