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Title: Modernity, identity and Englishness in the interwar suburban garden
Author: Rawlins, Sarah Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 4532
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is an examination of the suburban garden in Britain, during the period from 1919 to 1939, focussing specifically on the ways it was used to create and express different forms of social and cultural identity. The key primary sources used within this research are contemporary gardening magazines, such as Amateur Gardening, Home Gardening, Popular Gardening and Good Gardening, and these are supported and contextualised by other interwar texts such as novels, gardening manuals and gardening autobiographies. The interwar housing boom allowed many families the chance to own a home, and crucially, a substantial garden of their own. They could then shape these spaces to express their own personal tastes and reflect the advice of what was considered fashionable and tasteful according to the gardening media. Gardens echoed the alterations in society and culture which occurred after the War, such as the renegotiation of gender roles, the focus on the countryside and idealised rural past, and the idea of healthy living. The garden was also a site which allowed for the consumption of the modern, in the form of new technologies and methods of gardening, whilst at the same time being considered a haven of tranquillity and a refuge from the chaos of modern life. Such complex dualities were part of the contested nature of the suburban garden during the interwar period. Suburbia itself was widely derided by the critical elites of the period, becoming shorthand for many negative qualities such as materialism, social conservatism and excessive uniformity. This, however, did not stop it becoming considered the ideal place to live by many and as something to be aspired towards.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available