Professor Amanda Vickery
Professor of Early Modern History
Amanda Vickery was born and raised in Preston, Lancashire. Growing up in a matriarchal mill town where wives historically worked out of the house as well as in, fostered her love of social and economic history, and her fascination with the warp and woof of work and family, power and emotion. Truth to tell, life in a cotton town also inspired a life-long love of clothes.
After a London University B.A. and Ph.D and research fellowships at the Institute of Historical Research and Churchill College, Cambridge, Amanda Vickery took up a lectureship at Royal Holloway, University of London in 1991, later promoted to professor. She has held fellowships at the Clark Library, UCLA, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Huntington Library, California. From 2004-7 she enjoyed a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship. In 2007, Amanda was visiting professor at the Historicum, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich. In 2008, she was offered the Fletcher Jones distinguished visiting professorship at the Huntington. In 2010, she was Kratter Professor at Stanford University, USA.
Amanda has wide interests in the history of British society and culture, gender and family, words and objects. She is currently working on a new project on Fashion across the British world and is developing new long span social histories for BBC2.
Professor Vickery is an experienced supervisor of MPhil and PhD dissertations and is keen to recruit new postgraduate students. She would especially welcome those interested in the history of consumerism and dress, homes and space, women and gender since the late Middle Ages, and those fascinated by archival research on unusual sources. She has supervised Ph.Ds on, amongst other things, the history of masculinity, love letters, readership, erotica, illness and the family, furniture, needlework, aristocratic culture, politics at women's colleges, abortion, insanity, gender and photography, the Victorian home, Victorian fashion and dress codes between the wars. Her MA and PhD. students have gone on to fellowships and lectureships at the universities of Exeter, Manchester, Oxford, Royal Holloway, Sheffield, York, and Bridgewater State College, Massachusetts and to jobs in publishing, public relations, media and museums.
Vickery's first book, The Gentleman's Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England (Yale, 1998), won the Whitfield prize, the Wolfson prize and the Longman-History Today prize. Her essay 'Golden Age to Separate Spheres', was republished in 2007 in the Historical Journal's 50th anniversary edition of '20 classic papers' and is the most downloaded and cited article in the journal. Other publications include ‘An Englishman’s House is His Castle? Privacies, Boundaries and Thresholds in the Eighteenth-Century London House’, Past and Present (2008), 199 (2008), pp. 147-73; (ed), Women Privilege and Power: British Politics, 1750 to the Present (Stanford, 2001); and Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (Yale, 2009).
Grants, contracts, awards and external publications:
From 2001-6, Professor Vickery was Associate Director of the AHRC Centre for the Study of the Domestic Interior, collaborating with the Royal College of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Centre researched the domestic interior in western Europe and North America from the Renaissance to the present day. It staged 17 international conferences, produced an online database, and A Casa. At Home in Renaissance Italy, a major exhibition at the V&A. As part of her work for the AHRC Centre, Vickery co-edited the transatlantic collection Gender, Taste and Material Culture in Britain and North America, 1700-1830 (Yale, 2006).
Amanda is on the steering group of the Queen Mary, Geffrye museum collaborative Centre for Studies of Home and gave the first public lecture. She also serves on the advisory board of Queen Mary’s Hera project ‘Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800’ and on the board of the Warwick-Yale AHRC project ‘Displaying Victorian Sculpture’.
Professional activities and outreach:
Amanda has written and presented several history series for BBC2 and BBC Radio 4 on diverse themes from historical novels and love, to consumerism and kinship. In 2009, Amanda won an AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship to work with Loftus Productions Uk to write, record and broadcast a 30 part 'History of Private Life' for BBC Radio 4. In 2010, she designed the popular ‘Voices from the Old Bailey’ radio series which returns for another run in summer 2011 and has been commissioned to write a 6 part history of men for radio 4. Amanda reviews for the Guardian, the LRB, the TLS, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Saturday Review and Front Row. She also gives frequent public lectures and bookshop/literary festival talks.
Amanda adapted her book Behind Closed Doors for a 3 part prime-time BBC2 series ‘At Home with the Georgians’ in December 2010. It was shortlisted for a Royal Television Society award for history programme of the year, shown in Canada and the USA, and released on DVD in March 2011.
Amanda also offered a historian's take on Jane Austen's reputation and readership over the last 200 years in 'The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen' on BBC2 December 2011.
Recent public lectures include The Harper Collins History Lecture, the Gresham College Lecture for the Public Understanding of History, the Iredell Lecture, Lancaster Law School, and the Annual Lewis Walpole Library lecture.