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Title: From servants to staff : the making of a modern estate, Chatsworth 1908-1950
Author: Clapperton, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 8506 3077
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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Taking as its subject the estate of Chatsworth, in rural Derbyshire, this thesis addresses the question of how the history of the country estate can be understood, not from the perspective of a single social group, but in relation to the whole community who lived, worked and interacted within its boundaries. Structurally, the thesis is comprised of four thematically organised chapters. Each focuses upon a different subset of the estate community and draws upon different kinds of archival material. Each chapter also adopts a distinct methodological approach in response to the source material under scrutiny. In particular, the thesis pays attention to analytical tools developed within the field of historical pragmatics. I argue that this innovative, multi-methodological approach enables a holistic understanding of archival sources to emerge. The thesis finds that, while demographic mapping provides one level of insight, the information contained within letters and memoirs can be crucial for understanding the social norms and interpersonal relationships which made up the framework underpinning the estate community. In particular, it draws upon a variety of documents from the records of Chatsworth's senior employees, who occupied an important mediatory role within the estate hierarchy. The records of these servants provide a unique insight into how estates such as Chatsworth functioned as social organisms. They offer access to the experiences of the lower-ranking individuals inhabiting the estate, which are unlikely to have been recorded elsewhere, whilst also providing a new vantage point from which to observe the social and professional obligations placed upon the estate's upper-class landowners.
Supervisor: Hodson, Jane ; Cleall, Esme Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available