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Title: Women and taste; a case study of Katherine Plymley (1758-1829)
Author: Dahn, J. K. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 0689
Awarding Body: The University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Current Institution: Aberystwyth University
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis interrogates a particular construction of taste, or aesthetic consumption. The principal source material is the archive appertaining to Katherine Plymley (1758- 1829) which consists mainly of diaries, travel journals and study notebooks, and is held in the Shropshire Research and Records Office in Shrewsbury. The published correspondence of Mrs Delany (1700-1788) is used for the evidence it provides of a contrasting lifestyle. Katherine Plymley's stance was informed by various theoretical approaches, including those of Thomas Pennant (1726-1798), Archibald Alison (1757-1839), and Richard Payne Knight (1751-1824) all of whom were personally known to her. She was also influenced by the views of James Beattie (1735-1803), William Shenstone (1714-1772) and the Reverend William Gilpin (1724-1804). Her social milieu included the families Wedgwood and Darwin, and the Quaker industrialists of the Coalbrookdale valley. The first chapter gives an overview of Katherine Plymley's writing and establishes a social and cultural context. The second situates her in terms of theoretical developments, and shows how her view of visual culture was conditioned by theoretical views. The following three chapters discuss the influence of dissenting Christianity in the visual field, the impact of industry on visual culture, and the effect of Picturesque discourse. Women's relationship(s) with material culture and the significance of ceramics as key components of material culture are considered in chapters six to eight. The final chapter examines case studies of portraiture. Issues of class and gender are central to the argument throughout.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available