• Nineteenth-Century letters as a resource: Midlands women as a case study.

      Flint, Alison Claire; University of Derby (Centre for West Midlands History, 2017-11)
      This paper argues that a letter’s physicality is as important to the twenty-first century social historian as the written word. It is not enough to interpret the letter as a literary document nor is it intelligible to take the letter simply as an historical artefact for both lines of enquiry will result in the recounting of one half of the complete whole. A critical evaluation of the archival collection of the Ogston Estate in the heart of the Midlands, indicated that this group of records can deliver more than a concise male orientated genealogical record or history of a Midlands country estate. It has shown that, and most importantly to this study, the majority of the surviving familiar letters from one Midlands family, were written by women, principally the wives, mothers and daughters of the Turbutt/Gladwin family. This offers a unique insight into the personal preoccupations of gentry women in the Midlands, their economic roles and social lives not only from a gentry family focus but also as a vehicle from which to investigate the extent to which the letter and letter writing in the Midlands in the 1800s played a key role in feminine polite society.
    • Palgrave advances in John Clare studies

      Kovesi, Simon; Lafford, Erin; Oxford Brookes University; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020-09-18)
      Contributes to ongoing conversations about John Clare's work while offering new perspectives and directions on Clare scholarship, in an accessible writing style Serves as both a useful introduction to Clare and his work for students that are new to it, and a rich resource for scholars already working in the area Essays look at interdisciplinary topics including ecocriticism, environmental humanities, medical humanities, and posthumanism Features essays from established and early career scholars Is comprehensive in its coverage of popular and new topics in Clare studies.
    • Re-odorization, disease and emotion in mid-nineteenth century England

      Tullett, William; University of Derby (Cambridge University Press, 2018-10-08)
      This article argues that smell’s place in nineteenth-century medicine and public health was distinctly ambiguous. Standard narratives in the history of smell argue that smell became less important in this period whilst also arguing that urban spaces were deodorized. The causal motor for the latter shift is medical theories about odour and miasma. By contrast, this article argues that sanitary practices of circulation, ventilation, and disinfection proceeded despite, not because of, medical attitudes to smell. Surgeons and physicians argued that odours were no indicator of disease causing matter and distrusted the use of smell because of its subjective qualities and resistance to linguistic definition. Yet these qualities made smell all the more powerful in sanitary literature, where it was used to generate a powerful emotional effect on readers. Histories of smell need to attend not just to deodorization but re-odorization; the disjuncture between practices of smelling and their textual or visual representation; and chronologies that track the shelving and re-deploying of ways of sensing in different times, places, and communities rather than tracking the de novo emergence of a modern western sensorium. In mid nineteenth-century England smell retained its power, but that power now came from its rhetorical rather than epistemological force.
    • To the Ladies Turbutt: Three women, three wills and three legacies.

      Flint, Alison Claire; University of Derby (Women's History Network, 2016-09)
      The paper demonstrates that three women from one Derbyshire Gentry family, the Turbutt family through wills and legacies influenced, shaped and controlled the matrilineal line for well over two hundred years. From paper and ink to text and the digital screen the consequences of their decisions reverberate into the twenty-first century. A judicious evaluation of the archival collection of the Turbutt family indicated that this group of records would yield rather more than a regular male oriented family pedigree. The paper argues that through bequests in both life and death the three women had agency to help, guide and empower. It explores the choices made by later generations of the same family that society would otherwise have prohibited; in these choices the women would not only enrage their close male relatives but also later generations of the familial patrilineal line. The paper explores how the platform of letters enabled/allowed women to step out of the hegemonic ideal of domesticity and into a world outside the gates of the landed estate. It will see how legacies and letters afforded two women to play the nineteenth-century stock market, and furthermore, it demonstrates the difference a century made in the nature of the financial subjects about which the Ogston women were writing to determine what and whom was of greatest concern.
    • "The widows and orphans of servants are dying": The conflict of family in the design and application of nineteenth-century civil servant pensions

      McIlvenna, Kathleen; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019-04-22)
      The Post Office is a Victorian institution. There had of course been postal systems before this time and in other places but the idea that all people in all places should be connected through the mail was a new idea. In the context of this volume, the existence and development of the Post Office network matters for two reasons. Firstly, because letters connected families and kin who were not proximately resident, and they also had the capacity to make notional kinship into a functional resource. In chapters by Steven King, Cara Dobbing and Geoff Monks elsewhere in this volume it is clear that whatever the co-residential family unit might have looked like, letters were a vital mechanism for conveying information, renewing and repairing kinship bonds and giving meaning to the fictive kinship networks that are the focus of the work of Naomi Tadmor. Secondly, in order to provide this service large (and increasing) numbers of employees were needed. This inevitably means that the nature of work for Post Office was a potent force in shaping family life, the nature of family relations and (in the sense that for some employees the Post Office acted as an alternate family) the very meaning of terms such as ‘family’ or ‘kin’. Moreover, in the sense that Post Office workers rapidly became part of a wider nineteenth-century movement for employers to provide superannuation schemes, we might expect the service to have shaped the long-term planning of family life and even the likelihood of re-marriage or the timing of children leaving home.