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Title: The English Wallpaper Trade, 1750-1830
Authors: Mapes, Phillippa
Supervisors: Sweet, Rosemary
Horrocks, Sally
Award date: 19-Dec-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The history of consumption in the long eighteenth century has attracted much academic interest in recent decades. We now know much more about how an increasing number of consumer goods became available to growing numbers of the elite and middling classes. Yet there are still gaps in our knowledge about how these goods were produced, marketed, distributed and consumed. This case study of the luxury goods trade in English wallpaper provides a more detailed contribution to this debate and explores how issues of supply and demand intersected. Similarly, historiographies of wallpaper have also acknowledged that the market for this product came within the reach of the middle classes in this period, but we still need to know how, where, and in what way this was possible. Furthermore, although wallpaper manufacture at this time was essentially a London luxury goods trade, a significant regional industry did develop concurrently, which has previously been unexplored. Yet recognition of the impact of urbanisation in this period is essential to our understanding of the success of consumer goods at this time and the effect on people's cultural and material lives in the provinces as well as in London. This thesis draws on previously unused primary material from insurance and probate sources, government archives and newspaper advertisements to examine these issues in further detail. As a business history it also engages directly with the aesthetics of the material goods involved. The aim is to provide a more nuanced case study contribution to consumer, cultural and social histories and also to provide a contextual basis from which research into the material object - the historic wallpapers themselves - can be more fully undertaken.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, School of Historical Studies

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