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Title: Hyde Park and Chartwell in history and heritage
Author: Hinton, Clemency
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 8792
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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This dissertation examines Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill’s lives and legacies through the lens of their homes. This dissertation argues that homes are fertile sites for contending with the character of political leaders as physical expressions of identity. In Part One the author focuses on the interwar years and looks at how Hyde Park and Chartwell were created and dominated by these men. Beginning with major periods of home renovation, Chapter One demonstrates that Roosevelt and Churchill were personally invested in the construction of their houses as an articulation of their class status and political ambition. Built into the bricks and mortar of the home were the gendered power dynamics that existed between husband and wife and mother and son. Chapter Two considers times of personal crisis and argues that both men returned home to regain confidence in their masculine potential. Roosevelt and Churchill overcame their insecurities and found fruitful outlets in their gardens as a means of controlling the natural world itself. Chapter Three broadens the perspective of the dissertation to consider the network of associates who – through a mixture of pleasure and duty – populated and maintained Hyde Park and Chartwell. Through Roosevelt and Churchill’s magnetism, many individuals were brought into the orbit of the home, enabling it to fulfil their purposes for work, politicking and entertainment. In Part Two the author re-examines the houses in their function as contemporary heritage sites. By scrutinising the actions of the National Park Service and the National Trust, house museums are contemplated as unique vehicles for historic storytelling. Chapter Four uncovers the pressures from management, surviving family and the impassioned public that have coloured the transformation of Hyde Park and Chartwell. The organisational style of each administering body shaped their priorities in remaking the home as shrines. Chapter Five undertakes a survey of the interpretive approach at each home to identify differences in national cultural style. Over the past fifty years, pragmatic concerns have oftentimes tainted the ‘authenticity’ of these sites as site managers continue to work demonstrate the ongoing relevance of Roosevelt and Churchill in the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Gerstle, Gary Sponsor: Cambridge Trust ; Newnham College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: House Museums ; Winston Churchill ; Franklin Roosevelt ; Commemoration ; Memory Studies ; Heritage Studies ; Spatial History ; Political History ; American History