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Title: Town and Gown : amateurs and academics : the discovery of British prehistory, Oxford 1850-1900 : a pastime professionalised
Author: Price, Elizabeth Megan
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This investigation into the origin of a collection of nineteenth century lanternslides revealed evidence of the social, intellectual and cultural importance of various scientific societies in Oxford, and the contributions made by those involved, particularly the creator of the lanternslides, H. M. J. Underhill, (1855–1920). Evidence gathered from primary sources showed a fluidity of relationships between the supposed ‘town and gown’ in late nineteenth century Oxford which consisted of a community of citizens, amateurs and academics, all of whom were linked by a growing interest in the real and mythological British past. Following a discussion of the key intellectual and social influences in Britain during the latter half of the nineteenth century, including the implications of the emerging evidence of an ancient human past, the thesis focuses on individual case studies. They illustrate the roles of overlooked or neglected individuals whose work contributed to the growth of today’s discipline of British prehistory. Several people, now forgotten, including Underhill were contemporaries of Arthur Evans and Edward Tylor whose social circumstances made it easier for them to become prominent academics. The results of this research indicate that a new approach is required in the history of archaeology; one that would draw attention to the vital contributions made by forgotten or overlooked individuals, societies and popular publications. Further attention to these issues will shed new light on the way that prehistoric archaeology moved from an antiquarian pastime to an academic discipline between 1850 and 1900.
Supervisor: Gosden, Chris Sponsor: University of Oxford (Meyerstein Fund) ; Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation ; St Deiniol's Library (Gladstone's Library, Hawarden)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Prehistoric archaeology ; nineteenth century social and intellectual history ; Oxford ; Underhill ; images of prehistoric Britain ; Oxford ; amateur archaeology ; social ; intellectual history ; local societies Underhill ; lanternslides ; British prehistory