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P.C. Hoofthuis 1.04 Spuistraat 134 Abstract Shop owners as procuresses preying on the innocent, and their assistants as willing or unwilling prostitutes are stock characters of literature in the long-eighteenth century. In historical readings the female-owned business is frequently depicted as a short-lived affair, abandoned or appropriated upon marriage and only taken up again by impoverished widows. Familiar as these tropes are, they are often far from the reality of the middle-ranking women for whom commercial enterprise was a serious and enduring undertaking. Drawing on an extensive array of contemporary sources, Dr Pete Collinge argues that instead of businesswomen at the margins, their centrally-located premises alongside prominent male retailers attests to their visibility and acceptability within trading communities. All UvA students, staff and members of the public are welcome to attend.

Event details of Faculty Lecture: ‘Image and Reality: English Businesswomen in Literature and History in the Long-eighteenth Century’
Date 27 February 2020
Time 17:00 -18:00

Dr Peter Collinge holds degrees from the Universities of Nottingham and Keele. His doctoral thesis on eighteenth-century businesswomen and their networks was awarded in 2015. Currently, a post-doctoral researcher on ‘Small Bills and Petty Finance: co-creating the history of the Old Poor Law’, he is also the co-contributing editor on Providing for the Poor: The Old Poor Law, c.1750-1834 (forthcoming). He has written about eighteenth-century women, Georgian businesses, workhouse gardens, and spa life.  His latest article on textile entrepreneur and political activist Mary Pickford of Derby was published in January 2020.