The pursuit of pleasure: gender, space & architecture in Regency London

Front Cover
Athlone, 2002 - Architecture - 248 pages
Until recently, architectural historians have focused their attention on buildings financed by wealthy patrons and designed by prestigious architects. Historical analysis has centered on the politics of this architecture and how social class has contributed to the design. Feminist historians have explored the role of women architects, and they have examined how gender difference informs architectural design.

Developing these areas of research, Jane Rendell discusses how gender theory can inform the study of architecture in early nineteenth-century London. She considers the gendering of public space as a complex and shifting series of moves between men and women, constructed and represented through spatial and social relations of consumption, display, and exchange. Drawing on geography, philosophy, and cultural theory, she investigates a number of specific architectural spaces -- places of upper-class leisure and consumption in the West End: streets, clubs, assembly rooms, opera houses, and theaters.

In discussing public urban sites and the social exchanges that take place there, Rendell also examines the types of individuals displayed in -- or excluded by -- these spaces, such as the rambler and the cyprian, precursors to the Parisian flaneur and prostitute. Illustrated with contemporary prints and drawings, The Pursuit of Pleasure is a rich analysis of public space at the birth of the modern metropolis.

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User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

The many Regency-era history buffs will be delighted with this look at the buildings where the upper classes entertained themselves and be very grateful to Jane Rendell for pulling this together into ... Read full review


Women on the Market
Life in London
The Rambler as Dandy

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About the author (2002)

Jane Rendell is Lecturer in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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