Professor Amanda Vickery
Professor in Early Modern History
I 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 my love of social and economic history, and 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.
My latest research project is 'What Women Wanted. Women’s Hopes in Britain, 1945-c.1970'. I have delivered some of the fruits of this work in the Wiles Lectures (link is external) in 2019 and the Lisa Jardine Lecture (link is external) in 2020.
I have wide interests in the history of British society and culture, gender and family, words and objects.
- The history of women and men
- love and power
- Consumerism and fashion
- Objects and space
- Art and architecture
- The Georgians
- Post-war British society and culture
- Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (link is external) (Yale University Press, 2009) A history book of the year in the Independent, Guardian, New York Times, Scottish Herald, History Today. Shortlisted for the Hessel-Tiltman History Prize.
- The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (link is external) (Yale University Press, 1998). Winner of the Whitfield prize, the Wolfson prize and the Longman-History Today prize.
- Ed, Gender, Taste and Material Culture in Britain and North America, 1700-1830 (link is external) (Studies in British Art, Yale University Press, 2006).
- Ed, Women Privilege and Power: British Politics, 1750 to the Present (link is external) (Stanford University Press, 2001)
- 'The Political Day in London, c. 1697-1834', forthcoming Past and Present, 2021
- ‘A Self off the Shelf: The Rise of the Pocket Diary in Eighteenth-Century England’, forthcoming Eighteenth-Century Studies (link is external), 2021.
- ‘Branding Angelica: Reputation Management in Late 18th Century England’, British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (link is external), (2020).
- ‘The Moral Negotiation of Fashion in Regency England’, Eighteenth-Century Life (link is external), (2020), vol 44, no 3, pp. 165-191.
- Mutton Dressed as Lamb? Fashioning Age in Georgian England’, Journal of British Studies (link is external), 2013,
- ‘Fashioning Difference in Georgian England: Furniture for Him and for Her’ in Paula Findlen (ed), Early Modern Things: Objects and Their Histories, 1500-1800 (link is external) (London: Routledge, 2012)
- ‘The Theory and Practice of Female Accomplishment’, in Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts (eds), Mrs Delany and her Circle (link is external) (Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Press, 2009). Winner of the 30th Annual George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award given by the Art Libraries Society of North America; Winner of the First Place in the category of Exhibition Catalogues (over $10), given by the New England Museum Association
- ‘An Englishman’s House is His Castle? Privacies, Boundaries and Thresholds in the Eighteenth-Century London House’, Past and Present (link is external) (2008), 199 (2008), pp. 147-73.
- ‘His and Hers: Gender, Consumption and Household Accounting in 18th century England’, in Lyndal Roper and Ruth Harris (eds), The Art of Survival: Essays in Honour of Olwen Hufton (link is external) (Past and Present, 2006)., pp. 12-38
- 'S'il vous plait, Brulez cela afin qu'aucun oeil mortel ne puisse le voir: les secrets des sources feminines', in Jean-Pierre Bardet et Francois-Joseph Ruggiu (eds), Au plus pres du secret des coeurs? Nouvelle lectures historiques des ecrits du for privé en Europe du XVIe au XVIIIe siecle (link is external) (Presses de l'universite Paris Sorbonne, 2005)
- 'Golden Age to Separate Spheres: A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women's History', Historical Journal (link is external), 36, 2 (1993), pp. 383-414. The most downloaded & most cited article on their website. Republished 2007 in the Historical Journal’s 50th edition of ’20 classic papers’.
I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:
- The history of objects, consumerism and dress, homes and space,
- Women, men and gender since the late Middle Ages
- Archival research on unusual sources
I have supervised over 20 Ph.Ds, many of whom have gone on to stellar academic careers. Two are now professors themselves. I have examined countless Ph.Ds for the universities of Aberystwyth, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Essex, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield, Warwick, York and Turku, Finland.
Former PhD Students
- Emily Vine – Religion in the Home in 17th & 18th Century London
- Benjamin Jackson – Men's Things in 18th Century England
In the last decade, Amanda presented two major BBC television series based on her research, The Story of Women and Art (2014) and Suffragettes Forever: The Story of Women and Power (2015). The two series constituted six hours of prime-time television, with 2 million viewers tuning in for the first UK broadcast of The Story of Women and Art, and 1.1 million viewers for the first UK broadcast of Suffragettes Forever. The Story of Women and Art was released on DVD in Holland and the USA and Canada in 2015, and in the UK in 2016. The series was the first ever arts premiere on the BBC’s iPlayer, delivered as part of BBC Two’s 50-year birthday celebrations. It was subsequently broadcast in 100 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including Croatia, Ethiopia, Belarus and Iraq. Suffragettes Forever was also broadcast internationally, being shown in Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, New Zealand, Tajikistan, Iran and Afghanistan. The Story of Women and Art was shortlisted for a BAFTA.
Other co-presented documentaries include: Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball (2013), an Optomen production for BBC Two, and Messiah at the Foundling Hospital (2015), Winner of the Czech Crystal award and shortlisted for an EMMY, La Traviata: Love, Death and Divas (2015), Leningrad & the Orchestra that Defied Hitler (2015) and Holst and Vaughn Williams: Making Music English (2018), all Reef Productions for BBC Two. Recent public lectures include the Wiles Lectures (link is external) in 2019 in Belfast and the Lisa Jardine Lecture (link is external) in 2020 in Cambridge.
In 2010, Vickery was Kratter Professor at Stanford, USA. In 2015, Vickery was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. In 2017-18, Vickery held the Eleanor Searle Professorship, California Institute of Technology/Huntington Library, USA. She has recently won a Director’s Fellowship, Folger Library, Washington DC, USA and a Fellowship at the Huntington Library, Ca, USA. She is an intellectual mentor for the University of Helsinki, Finland. Vickery is a regular commentator/reviewer for BBC Radio 4, BBC2, Channel 4, The Guardian, The London Review of Books & the Times Literary Supplement.