Professor Laura Ugolini Public Inaugural Lecture

Male shop assistant - cartoon from 1914'A dismal round of servile drudgery'?

Male shopkeepers in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century England

Date: 22 July 2016

Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Venue: MA133 (Wulfruna Building), City Campus (Wulfruna), Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SB
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The young protagonist of H. G. Wells’ 1905 novel Kipps, newly apprenticed to The Folkestone Drapery Bazaar, soon realised that ‘the great stupid machine of retail trade had caught his life into its wheels’. All he could look forward to was a ‘dismal round of servile drudgery’, a bleak future that was to include ‘no adventures, no glory, no change, no freedom’. It is this image of male shopkeepers as hopeless drudges - one that would have been all too familiar to Wells’ readers – that is the subject of this lecture.

About Professor Ugolini

Laura UgoliniLaura Ugolini is a Professor of History at the University of Wolverhampton, where she directs the Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution (CHORD). Her research interests are in British gender history, particularly 19th and early 20th century masculinities. In 2007 she published Men and Menswear: Sartorial Consumption in Britain, 1880-1939, while her book on Civvies: Middle-Class Men on the English Home Front, 1914-1918 was published in 2013. Her current research focuses on the relationship between fathers and sons in the English middle class, c. 1850-1918.


The event is free, but booking is necessary as places are limited. Please email Satya Chumber at to book your place(s).