Vol. 40, No. 1 (2011)
Publication Date: 2011-11-22
Number of articles: 11
On 18 May 1859, after a "smutty journey,"2 Lucy Lyttelton stepped from a Britschka carriage onto the pavement of Stratton Street, Piccadilly, in the heart of the West End of London. Accompanied by her politician father, and her elder sister Meriel, Lucy had migrated from Hagley Hall, the family's country estate in Worcestershire. Four weeks later, Lucy travelled to St. James's Palace with "awestruck anticipation,"3 to be presented to Queen Victoria; she was officially "out" in Society. For the three months that followed, Lucy was engaged in a whirl of socializing that characterised the West End during the period. She attended concerts and dinner parties dressed in expensive gowns, and danced with eligible suitors in crowded ballrooms. During the day, she rode along Rotten Row in Hyde Park in the family's carriage, accompanied by her Aunt Catherine, the wife of Prime Minister William Gladstone. In the afternoon she gossiped with her equally aristocratic and titled friends, plotting the capture of a suitable husband at the next ball or private party.
This article analyses the various spaces in which the English-speaking bourgeoisie of Montreal practises its recreative dance activities between 1870 and 1940, as a way of thinking the exclusivism usually associated with the lifestyle and activities of the elites. We think that this exclusivism is possible in every type of dance activities, but in variable ways according to the nature of the activity and the space in which it takes place. This hypothesis will be examined through the analysis of four types of spaces in which the English-speaking bourgeoisie of Montreal spends its dancing leisure between 1870 and 1940. At first, we will explore two spaces which are controlled by the elite itself : the private homes and the club houses. Then, we will see how the development of upper-class hotels (Windsor, Ritz-Carlton, and Mount Royal Hotel) brought new perspectives and a partial new definition of exclusivism. And we'll finally see if the businesses offering recreative dance in Saint Antoine Nord (a district traditionally attached to the English-Montreal bourgeoisie), are successful in conciliating their public dimension with exclusivism.
This paper examines the relationship between the landed aristocracy in the vicinity of Manchester and the "urban aristocracy" of the municipal authority and their role in the development of municipal parks in the city in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It contests the view that landed elites had little impact on the development of the environs of Manchester during this period and argues that their social and economic influence was gradually replaced by that of the municipal authority in a reordering of the social landscape. It also re-examines the role of debt in the decline of the traditional landed elites and argues that, in the case of the two families studied here, debt became a problem much earlier than others have suggested and was often chronic and persistent.
In 1945, Marshall Foss began construction of Thorncrest Village, a subdivision in Etobicoke just to the west of Toronto. Foss and urban planner Eugene Faludi envisioned Thorncrest Village as nothing less than a model suburb for postwar Canada. They created a community that embodied the ideals of modern suburban planning: conformity, community, privacy, stability, and a careful mixture of nature and city. They developed an orderly and controlled suburb that secured upper-middle-class residents' financial investments and their social status. These residents, in turn, placed unbounded faith in Foss and Faludi's expertise and identified with the Village as a landmark experiment in modern suburban living. Thorncrest Village became a key site that intertwined the expertise of modern urban planning and the identities of elite suburbanites. The values that developers and residents put into place in Thorncrest Village—particularly the pursuit of order and control—are significant components of suburbanization in Canada and elsewhere.