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Title: Bluestocking collecting, craft and conversation in the Duchess of Portland's Museum, c. 1770-1786
Author: Pelling, Madeleine
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores female authorship, friendship and knowledge-making within collecting practices in the mid-to-late eighteenth century. Applying methodologies from the history of collecting, gender and material culture studies, it contextualises practices of collecting, museum-making, crafting, and art criticism within Bluestocking culture and takes as its focus the vast collection of antiquities and natural history specimens assembled by Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, duchess of Portland (1715-1785) at Bulstrode Park, Buckinghamshire, and Privy Gardens, Whitehall. It answers historians' claims of the Portland Museum as a chaotic and ill-informed collection, famous only for its dispersal at auction in 1786. Uncovering evidence from a number of case studies drawn from the duchess's circle, this study returns to the museum pre-sale, revealing a rich and diverse community of female contributors whose labours there had important broader cultural, connoisseurial and authorial impact. I gather together a spectrum of individual and collective women's texts, objects and voices, showing how they sustained what I term the 'museum-salon'.
Supervisor: Johns, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available