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3 - Plurality

Women’s Circles in London

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2020

Mark Philp
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
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Summary

While commentators tend to assume a single public culture, this chapter begins to develop an argument for a more fragmentary London world, in which there are many relatively small sets and circles, which provide many people, especially women, with the core of their social life.Close examination of the diaries of Marianne Ayrton and Eliza Soane allows us to see how very bounded women’s sociability and intimacies often were in practice. The chapter compares male and female experience and the relatively more open character of male expectations, in contrast to a female world where contacts were often very more rigorously policed.Using a range of diary sources it is possible to see that many women were rooted in ‘little platoons’ dominated by family and the business concerns of their husbands, while men were less socially constrained.Nonetheless, the chapter lays the ground for questioning how far the repression of the 1790s might have had differential effects, forcing men to question the reliability of their wider acquaintance.

Type
Chapter
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Radical Conduct
Politics, Sociability and Equality in London 1789-1815
, pp. 93 - 122
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Plurality
  • Mark Philp, University of Warwick
  • Book: Radical Conduct
  • Online publication: 20 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108898768.004
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  • Plurality
  • Mark Philp, University of Warwick
  • Book: Radical Conduct
  • Online publication: 20 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108898768.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Plurality
  • Mark Philp, University of Warwick
  • Book: Radical Conduct
  • Online publication: 20 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108898768.004
Available formats
×