Cosponsored Event, Lectures

The Political Day in Georgian England

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

6275 Bunche Hall, UCLA
315 Portola Plaza

—a lecture given by Amanda Vickery, Queen Mary, University of  London

Co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Studies, the European History Colloquium, and the UCLA Department of History

What did an eighteenth-century politician do all day? The meaning and mechanisms of eighteenth-century high politics have long been debated. Was government personal, local and the possession of a narrow elite, or ideological, proto-modern and answerable to public opinion? Was politics a masculine bastion, or accessible to widows and heiresses by virtue of property and lubricated by a social politics engineered by women? Despite decades of dispute, if one were to ask precisely how and where a member of the government spent his time and how parliament and court ran on an ordinary day, even the most committed scholar of politics might be stumped. However, to make these apparently mundane inquiries forces analysis of the articulation of all the components of élite political culture—parliament and court, Lords and Commons, noblemen and noblewomen, formal politics and social politics. Attention to the rythmns of time, the exigencies of space, and flows of traffic recast the history of politics in altogether new ways to escape the staleness of current historiography.

Amanda Vickery is an English historian, writer, radio and television presenter, and professor of early modern history. Her books include The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Eighteenth-Century England (1998), and most recently Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (2009). She is the winner of the Longman History Today prize, the Whitfield Book Prize, and the Wolfson History Prize. She has worked extensively for the BBC as a presenter for both television and radio.