We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Material Culture and Luxury Goods in Women's Writing of North-East England, 1790-1825

WIGMORE, NICOLA (2023) Material Culture and Luxury Goods in Women's Writing of North-East England, 1790-1825. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


This thesis examines material culture and luxury goods in the writings of Jane Harvey, Margaret Harvey, and Jemima Layton, three women writers from North-East England. The time period examined, 1790-1825, is dictated by the publishing dates of Jane Harvey’s works, and overlaps with what is broadly termed the Romantic period, 1790-1830. The thesis aims to identify and assess ways in which regional authors address contemporary issues, specifically consumer culture and fashion, as well as considering the subsequent critical fortunes of fashionable, commercial authors.
Chapter One explores the vibrant, lively culture of Newcastle and the North-East region in the early nineteenth century. Chapter Two considers jewellery, especially miniatures and diamonds, as a device used to move narratives forward in Jane Harvey’s early Gothic novels, and her later domestic novels Auberry Stanhope (1814), Singularity (1822), and Mountalyth (1823). Chapter Three focuses on clothing, specifically wedding dresses and fabric, and the rich character development that they contribute to the works The Castle of Tynemouth (1806), Stanhope, Any Thing But What You Expect (1819), Jemima Layton’s Hulne Abbey (1820), and Margaret Harvey’s Raymond de Percy (1822). Chapter Four examines shopping as a leisure activity, the frivolities associated with visiting milliners’ shops in Jane Harvey’s Ethelia (1810) and Singularity (1822), and Layton’s Hulne Abbey (1820); and the masculine art of collecting curiosities in house sales in Singularity. The final chapter focuses on the domestic: first the interiors in which luxury goods are displayed, and then china, in Singularity and Raymond de Percy. Although focussing on the writers of a specific region, this thesis reveals concerns surrounding material culture and luxury goods that can be seen in contemporary women’s writing throughout the country.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Nov 2023 10:19

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter