|Title: ||The Non-Elite Consumer and ‘Wearing Apparel’ in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, 1800-1850|
|Advisors: ||Ugolini, Laura|
|Publisher: ||University of Wolverhampton|
|Issue Date: ||2008 |
|Abstract: ||The routine consumption patterns of ordinary consumers in the first half of the
nineteenth century, particularly those in the provinces, have been neglected. This
thesis sheds light on this area by investigating one particular commodity, clothing.
To undertake this, a range of archival sources, visual evidence and surviving dress
relating to the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been examined.
The data has enabled an analysis of the consumption of clothing in different
locations within the two counties, including county towns, industrial regions and
villages, to be carried out. The results have highlighted the many different methods
of clothing supply available to the non-elite consumer, which included shop
retailing, itinerant selling, illicit networks and clothing distributed via the Poor Law
The thesis demonstrates firstly that the non-elite consumer could obtain clothing
from a variety of outlets, using different acquisition methods. Secondly, it shows
that this clothing varied in both style and the way it was manufactured, often
depending on the supply network utilised. The thesis questions assumptions about
the availability of ready-made clothing, the nature of retailing clothing in rural
areas, the decline of hawking and peddling, the non-elite use of clothing shops and
non-elite consumers’ relationship with fashion. It emphasizes that non-elite
consumers had a complex relationship with their clothing, influenced in part by
personal preference, gender, economic circumstances and stage in the life-cycle.
This thesis shows the multifarious ways non-elite, provincial consumers acquired
and wore their clothing.|
|Type: ||Thesis or dissertation|
|Description: ||A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the
requirements of the University of Wolverhampton
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy|
|Appears in Collections: ||E-Theses|
|Files in This Item:|
|Toplis_PhD thesis.pdf||8465Kb||Adobe PDF|
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