Research

John Gosnell agent, Rangoon c. 1930. Image courtesy of John Gosnell & Co., Lewes UK
John Gosnell agent, Rangoon c. 1930. Image courtesy of John Gosnell & Co., Lewes UK

Jess’ manuscript, “Beauty Brokers: artifice and enterprise in Victorian Britain,” is the first study to systematically chart socio-economic and cultural developments in the Victorian commercial grooming industry, specifically in relation to London’s urban retail geographies. The project reflects her interests in the histories of consumption and self-fashioning, business, gender, urban space, and imperial economic networks.

Her new project explores the relationship between scent and British identity in the early twentieth century. It asks how particular scents like lavender functioned as a unifying force in moments like the Great War, while other smells were mobilized to denote difference along race and class lines.

 

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