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Female Dishonour, Transgression and Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century England, c.1750-1790

Female Dishonour, Transgression and Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century England, c.1750-1790
Female Dishonour, Transgression and Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century England, c.1750-1790
Historical celebrity has been well established in eighteenth-century England, with examinations of female celebrity primarily extended to performative professions and the elite. While crime and transgression in historical celebrity has been explored on an individual case basis, the broader context of multiple women crafting and manipulating a public persona and becoming celebritised due to their association with crime is less established. Through a series of case studies from different class backgrounds and social transgressions this thesis examines the self-fashioning choices and opportunities for women raised to public attention through crime during the second half of the eighteenth century, exploring the process of celebritisation they experienced, their own agency in shaping a celebrity persona, and the cultural desires and anxieties which their cases came to embody. It focuses on their performative choices and the relationship between fictional narrative and these women’s purported personal histories, the combined authorship of public personas created by celebrity object and audience, and reading their celebrity persona as a crafted ‘text’, shaped by and enabling widespread commentary on contemporary ideologies of femininity, respectability and sensibility.
University of Southampton
Clarke, Amy
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Clarke, Amy
71b036af-927f-40c0-ac49-944d13d6f048
Gammon, Julie
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Bending, Stephen
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Clarke, Amy (2020) Female Dishonour, Transgression and Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century England, c.1750-1790. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 329pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Historical celebrity has been well established in eighteenth-century England, with examinations of female celebrity primarily extended to performative professions and the elite. While crime and transgression in historical celebrity has been explored on an individual case basis, the broader context of multiple women crafting and manipulating a public persona and becoming celebritised due to their association with crime is less established. Through a series of case studies from different class backgrounds and social transgressions this thesis examines the self-fashioning choices and opportunities for women raised to public attention through crime during the second half of the eighteenth century, exploring the process of celebritisation they experienced, their own agency in shaping a celebrity persona, and the cultural desires and anxieties which their cases came to embody. It focuses on their performative choices and the relationship between fictional narrative and these women’s purported personal histories, the combined authorship of public personas created by celebrity object and audience, and reading their celebrity persona as a crafted ‘text’, shaped by and enabling widespread commentary on contemporary ideologies of femininity, respectability and sensibility.

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PhD Thesis_Amy Clarke - Version of Record
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Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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Perm to deposit thesis form_Amy Clarke_APPVD_3 YRS
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Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Published date: August 2020
Additional Information: Related publication: Amy Clarke, ‘The Narrative and Moralising Lives of Public Women in Eighteenth-Century England,’ Ex Historia, Vol.9 (2017) pp.1-15, URL: https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/collegeofhumanities/history/exhistoria/volume9/Clarke_1-15.pdf

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451731
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451731
PURE UUID: 18c9c79c-ffcf-43ca-9c7f-e8337dd1d464

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Oct 2021 16:31
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 15:50

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Contributors

Author: Amy Clarke
Thesis advisor: Julie Gammon
Thesis advisor: Stephen Bending

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