The Social and Cultural History of the Provinicial Fair in England, c. 1750-1850
Supervisor: Bob Harris
I am a fourth year DPhil student at Oxford. My thesis seeks to re-evaluate the place of the fair in the lives of the English people between 1750-1850. While frequently characterised as experiencing decline during this period, the pervasive presence of fairs in accounts of provincial live and the wider culture of the era suggests a pattern of persistence that has not been investigate systematically. While a number of historians have mentioned the fair in the wider context of a review of either leisure or commerce in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there has yet to be a detailed analysis of the place and role of the provincial fair in this period. I aim to address themes including festivity, trade, community identity, social disorder and popular culture to explore the role of the fair in the lives of individuals and their communities.
Before beginning the DPhil, I completed a MSt in Modern British and European History, as well as a BA from Northwestern University and a MA from the Courtauld Institute, both in History of Art.
In addition to my research, I have participated in a number of access programmes, including Oxford Pathways and the Brilliant Club, and produced writing on the web for a public audience.