"Our House is like a Coffee room": the Fremantles in Italy, 1815–19

Chalus, E (2014) "Our House is like a Coffee room": the Fremantles in Italy, 1815–19. In: 10th Economic and Social Science History Conference, 23 - 26 April 2014, International Institute for Social History, Vienna, Austria.


In August 1818, Betsey, Lady Fremantle, found a quiet spot in their house at Lucca Baths, where they had settled for the summer to escape from the heat of Florence, to comment on her day. 'Our House' she wrote, 'is like a Coffee room, contstant visits in the morning and never empty, some singing some writing, some laying battle door and shuttlecock others at chess, whist - in short we never were so dissipated'. As an English family abroad at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Fremantles (Lady Fremantle, her husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle, and at least four of their eight children), were an integral part of a mobile, cosmopolitan European elite that experienced Italy through villegiatura, settling for extended periods in cities such as Milan, Florence, Pisa, Rome or Naples, before moving on. This paper draws upon Lady Fremantle’s unpublished diaries for 1815-19 in order to explore the nature of cosmopolitan urban sociability as it functioned among a mobile international elite in the years immediately following the Napoleonic Wars. In so doing, it considers the importance of place and space to early nineteenth-century expatriates, especially women, and considers the role of the family in contributing to the development of elite cosmopolitanism and shaping the nature of urban life.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Paper given as part of an international panel entitled 'Conceived, constructed, contested spaces: gender and household in the European town’.

Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2015 15:51
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:39
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/5111
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