Monarchy, power, and place in the Victorian age
: a historical geography of Osborne House, c. 1845-1901

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis focuses on the ways in which the royal residence of Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, was used in pursuit of the Victorian monarchy's political practices from 1845 to 1901. It examines the evolution of the residence in terms of its physical layout as well as the way it was represented. It discusses how the monarchy’s use of the residence changed and how this reflected the institution’s political role over the course of Queen Victoria's reign. Taking a multi-scalar approach, the thesis considers the activities at the residence in relation to the emergence of a new royal geography, national culture, domestic politics, foreign diplomacy, and the British Empire. A range of geographical and historical methodologies are deployed, ranging from archival research, the use of digitised sources, object and image analysis, to Geographic Information System analysis, including mapping the changing land use of the estate and visualising the Queen's movements from 1837 to 1901. This thesis contributes to our understanding of the significance of Osborne House to national and international political life during this period. It challenges the historiography of the monarchy's role by emphasising Victoria’s ongoing engagement with political activities throughout her reign and demonstrates the value of adopting an historical geographical approach to the interpretation of the monarchy’s day to day practices.
Date of Award1 Nov 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorDavid Green (Supervisor) & Ruth Craggs (Supervisor)

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