RHS annual Prothero Lecture 2022, with Professor Rohan McWilliam

RHS annual Prothero Lecture 2022, with Professor Rohan McWilliam

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Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre

University College London

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

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The Royal Historical Society's Prothero Lecture, 2022: 'The Gaiety Girl and the Matinee Idol', given at UCL by Professor Rohan McWilliam.

About this event

'The Gaiety Girl and the Matinee Idol: Constructing Celebrity and Sexuality in the West End of London, 1880-1914'

2022 RHS Prothero Lecture, with Professor Rohan McWilliam (Anglia Ruskin University)

5.00pm, Wednesday 6th July 2022

Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London, and also remotely for those unable to attend in person

To be followed, from 6.30pm, by the Society's Summer Party: North Cloisters, main quadrangle, University College London

Abstract

In 'The Gaiety Girl and the Matinee Idol' Professor Rohan McWilliam (Anglia Ruskin University) argues that in the later Victorian period the West End of London embodied the shock of the new. It became the world's leading pleasure district and reshaped British culture in distinctive ways.

Between 1880 and 1914, the West End helped in particular to invent modern ideas not only of sexuality and stardom but glamour itself. New forms such as musical comedy at the Gaiety Theatre on the Strand and Daly's on Leicester Square constructed images of what was fashionable and up-to-date.

The lecture ranges from music halls and theatres to different kinds of mass culture, including the poster and the picture postcard.

Speaker Biography

Rohan McWilliam is Professor of Modern British History at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and a former President of the British Association for Victorian Studies. He is at work on a history of the West End of London, the first volume of which was published in 2020: London's West End: Creating the Pleasure District, 1800-1914 (Oxford University Press).

RHS annual Prothero Lecture 2022, with Professor Rohan McWilliam image

Rohan has published widely on the histories of  popular politics and popular culture, including his book The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation (2007) and articles on topics ranging from Victorian melodrama to the Labour Party in the 1980s.

Rohan is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Victorian Culture and the London Journal as well as the board of the London Record Society. He is also co-director of the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University.

The 2022 Prothero Lecture takes place at the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, adjacent to the Society's office at University College London. We hope you will be joining us in person for the lecture and party.

Those wishing to attend the lecture, but unable to be at UCL, may join the lecture remotely. The link to join remotely will be sent to attendees on Tuesday 5th July.

The Lecture will be followed at 6.30pm by the RHS Summer Party, at UCL, 6 July 2022.

RHS annual Prothero Lecture 2022, with Professor Rohan McWilliam image

Please join us after this year's Prothero Lecture for the Society's Summer Party, held in the North Cloisters, University College London, from 6.30pm.

This will be our first summer gathering since July 2019 and we look forward very much to welcoming RHS Fellows, members and lecturer-goers to this now restored feature in the Society's calendar.

About the annual RHS Prothero Lecture

RHS annual Prothero Lecture 2022, with Professor Rohan McWilliam image

The Royal Historical Society's Prothero Lecture is the principal named lecture in the Society's annual events programme.

First delivered in 1969, the Lecture is named for the historian and editor Sir George W. Prothero (1848-1922), Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh and RHS President, 1901-1905. This year's lecture is given in the same week as the centenary of Prothero's death (on 10 July 1922).

Previous Prothero Lecturers include: Samuel H. Beer, Joanna Bourke, Linda Colley, Stefan Collini, Natalie Zemon Davis, Olwen Hufton, Sujit Sivasundaram, Quentin Skinner and Keith Thomas. Article versions by these and other Prothero lecturers are available in the Society's journal, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society.

RHS annual Prothero Lecture 2022, with Professor Rohan McWilliam image

Supporting the Royal Historical Society

The Royal Historical Society is a learned society with charitable status, working to support historians and history. It receives no government funding and relies on income from membership subscriptions, sales of selected publications and voluntary donations.

If you would like to make a small donation to the Royal History Society, to support this and future events, please visit our Support Us page. Thank you.

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