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Title: Three brothers in China : a study of family in empire
Author: Hillier, Andrew Charles
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 7332
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the relationship between family and empire, taking as a case study, the Hillier family, who lived and worked in China and South-East Asia in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It argues that family operated as a key mechanism in the British world, both on a public and private level, in that it had an agency going beyond that of the individual members, which both stimulated and consolidated the expansion of that world. The process was mutually constitutive in that family both shaped and was shaped by empire. However, the strains and dislocations of those experiences could fundamentally alter and re-configure the notion of family, which lay at the heart of Victorian society. Spanning four generations, spread across a range of occupations and empire locales, the study takes as its primary focus three Hillier brothers, who made their lives and careers in China in the last half of the nineteenth century and first decade of the twentieth century, working in the Consular and Diplomatic service, the Chinese Maritime Customs and the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank. Evolving a specific empire identity, they developed a series of networks which were key to establishing significant relationships with British and Chinese officialdom. By knitting together a number of strands of current historiography, relating to family, on the one hand, and the expanding British world, on the other, the study makes an important contribution to understanding the way in which this world was given coherence through the mechanism of family but the price which this exacted, in terms of its individual members and its structure, more generally. It also provides a model for exploring the role of family in other empire settings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available