Martin, Lauren (2020) Millinery and the Milliner - Headwear and Millinery in 1830s England. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This dissertation examines the bonnet in fashion, and the milliner in society. It uses a wide variety of sources, including extant bonnets, but also online sources such as the Old Bailey, the British Newspaper Archives and census data. The first chapter considers the bonnet in fashion and includes a history of the bonnet that examines and defines its stylistic origins. The chapter also examines the idea of the bonnet being the most accessible means of interpreting and following fashions, and investigates the methods employed by women to stay fashionable whatever their income or class. Finally, it examines semiotics in bonnet fashions, and the messages and signals sent out, consciously or unconsciously, by bonnet wearers. The second chapter, The Milliner, argues for a fresh analysis of the makers of bonnets, whose reputation in nineteenth-century dress history is somewhat chequered. This chapter uses a study of the life and career of Nottingham milliner Alice Butler, to argue that the millinery profession was in fact a powerful one within society, not just for the women who took it up and made it their career, but for the consumers who frequented their shops and made these spaces their own. This chapter establishes a definition of the term in an 1830s context, and examines the specifics of running a millinery business in a regional town in the nineteenth century. The final substantial chapter, The Model, examines the role of the consumer with regards to the bonnet in fashion, but also the milliner and her shop. It looks at how and when a woman bought a bonnet, and presents new evidence relating to millinery consumption that demonstrates how women valued the bonnet in this period. It concludes with an examination of the relationship the consumer had with the milliner, both personally and with her shop.

FINAL THESIS - Martin, Lauren.pdf - Accepted Version
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