cqu_2266+DS3+DS3.5 (6.9 kB)
Aristocratic affairs : bringing 'gender' into historical research on the nobility in late nineteenth-century Paris
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by E Macknight
At the end of the nineteenth century Parisian High Society was a network of noble families known as le monde or le Tout-Paris. My research focuses on the gendered roles of men and women within this world. In 2003 I completed a doctoral thesis that examined the ways in which noble women forged and maintained connections within High Society. To represent their family, and uphold the status of the married couple, noble women performed an extensive array of social activities. They hosted dinners, garden parties, salons, soirées, and balls. They attended concerts, exhibitions, plays, and operas. They were patrons of the arts and charities, and they regularly received friends at their country estates and seaside villas. Parisian noble women were high profile, public figures who were constantly in the spotlight of the High Society press. They set the criteria for admission to their exclusive circles and they were arbiters of cultural taste. This paper charts my research journey as a PhD candidate, including a twelve-month trip to Paris in 2000–1 where I discovered the private archives of noble families and was invited to dinner by a duke. I continued that journey by returning to Paris for postdoctoral research in 2003–4; currently I am transforming my thesis into a book.