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Title: Imperial footprints : Lady Aberdeen and Lady Dufferin in Ireland, Canada and India, 1870-1914
Author: McLeish, Valerie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3625 6364
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis focuses on Lady Ishbel Aberdeen (1857-1939) and Lady Hariot Dufferin (1843-1936) who accompanied their husbands, who were Colonial Governors, into the British Empire. I argue that their footprints were indelibly etched on the colonial landscape; that each woman left her mark on the places where she lived. Officially these women promoted the British Empire through their positions as 'first ladies'. They willingly accepted this as a duty to their husbands and the Crown: an unwritten contract. However the unofficial cultural and discursive work of Empire that they undertook was perhaps less obvious but just as far reaching. It was undoubtedly political in nature yet it was not thought of in that way. The twin themes of representation and identity are explored on each colonial site. I argue that Lady Aberdeen and Lady Dufferin constructed representations that placed colonised others in an inferior position, whilst enabling the women to bolster their own identities as British imperialists. From their privileged positions they promoted Britain, the British Empire, and Christianity. They were both involved in Ireland, where they had different views on Home Rule, and Canada, where they each lived for several years. Between them they started organisations to benefit health in Canada, Ireland and India. These points in common allow comparisons to be made, although this is not the main focus of the thesis. I use a combination of post-structural and traditional methodology, with much of the research based on the Dufferin and Aberdeen private papers. Secondary themes explored include the nature of Britain's relationship to Ireland, Ulsterwomen's efforts to prevent Home Rule, and attitudes to health and disease.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available