Tutor: Helen Metcalfe
Module type: MA Option
Module code: HIS00100M
What made a house a home in Georgian Britain, and did men and women experience the home differently? In what ways did the domestic landscape shape notions of family and domesticity, and how did this change over the course of the eighteenth century? This course will consider these and related questions by using the home and its inhabitants as the lens through which to explore several aspects of the social and cultural history of eighteenth-century Britain. It has long been recognised that the power structures of the early-modern home were used as a metaphor for the state, a model that was retained and reiterated in wide ranging political and moral discourse. This model of the eighteenth-century home generated notions of emotional, moral, and spatial stability at the centre of which, it was claimed, was marriage. But to what extent did this ideal reflect contemporary lived experience? This course examines the home as a physical space, but also as a familial, emotional and sociable space. It interrogates diverse types of social relationships and familial units within the home, and illuminates the domestic consumption practices of men and women. It explores the comfort infrastructure of the home through objects and emotions, and evaluates textual and visual representations of the home and domestic life.
Interdisciplinary in its approach, the course draws upon a wide range of secondary literature including history, history of art, literature, historical geography and material culture studies. Students will also assess primary source material which may include diaries and letters, newspapers and novels, portraiture, satirical prints and printed literature.
The provisional outline for the module is as follows:
For more information, please visit the module catalogue.