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Title: 'Our Clifton Zoo': a social history of Bristol Zoo gardens since 1835
Author: Maddeaux , Sarah Joy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 6672
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Bristol Zoo Gardens (opened in 1836) are a world in themselves: a fully enclosed site within an affluent neighbourhood, within a multifarious city, serving a large tourist hinterland, they offer a taste of the exotic, the domestic, the wild, and the civilised, all gathered together into one potentially conflictual environment. Since zoos as a leisure space have largely been neglected, this thesis provides a significant case study contributing to a number of overlapping fields: the socio-cultural histories of leisure and of the dissemination of science, local history, and the histories of childhood and gender. It investigates how people claimed ownership over and occupied the site, and how the site was depicted as a 'respectable' place. It assesses the differing experiences of this semi-public space by the working and middle classes, by women and men, and by children and adults, measured against the intentions of the founding shareholders, as implemented by the staff. The organisation's claim to provide rational recreation to locals and tourists was challenged by the financial imperative of covering costs, balancing education and entertainment, refined and popular culture to attract paying visitors. The surrounding neighbourhood has contributed to the Zoo's distinctively local character but has also been a source of tension regarding the character of the entertainment provided within the Gardens and the visitors attracted to them. All these stakeholders have divergent interests and different relationships to the organisation, but all have exhibited, to a greater or lesser degree, a sense of ownership over what was frequently referred to as 'our Clifton Zoo'. This thesis examines how the site's reputation for respectability was enhanced or challenged by these different actors, thereby assisting or threatening the survival of this provincial zoo.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available