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November 2018

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PATRIARCHAL PARADIGMS?

THE ROLES AND EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN ON THE LANDED ESTATES OF WALES

For generations, women played a critical part in the social and cultural life of Wales’ landed estates. Through their familial roles and networks, and as landowners in their own right, heiresses, cultural patrons, domestic servants, tenants and agricultural labourers, women were central to the functioning of estates and country houses. They often exerted profound influences on the identities and fortunes of individual estates, and could play a significant role in shaping the nature of interactions between the country house, local communities and wider aspects of society. The extraordinary biographies and achievements of elite women such as Lady Llanover, the Davies sisters of Gregynog, Catrin of Berain and the ‘Ladies of Llangollen’ are increasingly recognised as important parts of the story of Wales. Similarly, the widespread interest in family history over the last decade has played its part in fostering a recognition of the lives of the thousands of women who were employed as domestic servants – maids, cooks, housekeepers, charwomen and wet nurses – by the landed proprietors of Wales. However, in general, the contributions made by women to the wide-ranging social, political, cultural and religious roles and impacts of estates in Wales have been severely overlooked by the established historiography, which tends to be dominated by portrayals of the patriarchal experience.

This one-day conference has been set up to redress the balance. Its objective is to establish a frame of reference for the next generation research into how the experiences of women can contribute towards a more comprehensive understanding of the history, culture and landscapes of Wales.

 

Tickets £6: https://bit.ly/2z0sv8p

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