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By Jon Stobart, Mark Rothery

This research explores the intake practices of the landed aristocracy of Georgian England. Focussing on 3 households and drawing on distinct research of account books, receipted accounts, family inventories, diaries and correspondence, this publication charts the spending styles of this elite workforce in the course of the so-called client revolution of the eighteenth century. quite often tested in the course of the lens of middling Read more...


Focussing on 3 households and drawing on particular research of account books, receipted debts, family inventories, diaries and correspondence, intake and the rustic condo charts the Read more...

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Mingay, English Landed Society in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1963), 61–6, 126–9; R. Gemmett, ‘“The tinsel of fashion and the gewgaws of luxury”: the Fonthill sale of 1801’, The Burlington Magazine, 150 (2008), 381–8; R. A. Kelch, Newcastle, A Duke Without Money: Thomas Pelham-Holmes, 1693–1768 (London, 1974). 28 SCLA, DR671/101, Account of the Personal Estate of Mary Leigh, 1822; SCLA DR18/13/7/13–14, Will and codicil of Edward, fifth Lord Leigh, 1767. 29 For more details, see Rothery and Stobart, ‘Merger and crisis’.

Of particular note here is the way that resources were often diverted from consumption to production through investments in the estate and in the wider economy. The chapter closes with a discussion of specific types of luxury and fashion exhibited in these consumption patterns; the importance of positional goods as markers of the elite status of these two families; and the level at which they engaged with ‘new luxury’ and fashion. Overall, we argue that readings of elite consumption as the pursuit of status need to be balanced by recognition of their engagement with a much broader set of social and economic priorities.

Yet this raises the question of how we then make sense of the variation in decor and mutability of rooms and the ways in which they were constructed by and, in turn, shaped consumption practices. Beyond its four walls, the country house is traditionally seen as embedded in its locality; yet it also drew on national supplies and particularly those from London, the locus of social and political activity, the main conduit for international influences, the centre in which fashions were shaped and OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 15/04/16, SPi Introduction 19 from which they were disseminated, and the most important source for fashionable goods.

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