Elaine Chalus

Professor in British History

CoLA - Culture and Environment

Email: ****-*****

Telephone: +441225875656

Personal Statement

Originally trained as a teacher in Canada, I taught for ten years in northern Alberta before returning to university and pursuing postgraduate studies in history. I joined the History Department at BSU in September 1999 from the University of Oxford, where I had been teaching at various colleges while completing my doctorate.

My primary research interests lie in English social and political history in the long eighteenth century. I am particularly interested in the interplay of gender and politics. My work engages with questions of sex, patronage and corruption, and influence and interest. Electoral history, political ritual, and the use of the social arena for political ends all feature extensively in my research and teaching. The social and political culture of Bath in its eighteenth-century heyday fascinates me and bears further examination.

My current research project, The Admirals Wife: An Intimate History of Family, Navy and Empire, draws upon the largely unknown diaries of Elizabeth Wynne Fremantle (1778-1857), and the letters and correspondence of the larger Fremantle (Barons Cottesloe) family, and was awarded a British Academy Research Development Award Scheme (BARDAs) award in June 2010. I will be away on research leave until mid-March 2012.

I am currently Director of the Centre for History and Culture. The Centre has European links through my involvement in the Danish-based Gender in the European Town project. Members of the Centre are also actively involved in a variety of projects in History and Heritage which extend the Centre's links to the local community. The highlight of last year's activities was our international Suffragettes' Tree Project, a very successful week of activities planned to celebrate the dual centenaries of the lost Bath suffrage arboretum and of International Women's Day itself.

As a postgraduate supervisor, I encourage students to think laterally about English political and gender history in the long eighteenth century. My current postgraduate students are researching eighteenth-century topics, ranging from female shopkeepers in Bath, to gender and philanthropy, to the use of green space and the development of civic consciouness. I am happy to speak to prospective postgraduate students who are interested in any area of political or gender history in the long eighteenth century.

Academic Qualifications

  • BEd Alberta
  • MA Alberta
  • DPhil Oxon.
  • FRHist.Soc. -

Professional Qualifications

Bachelor of Education (78) (Alberta)

Teaching Experience (Secondary): 1978-87

Membership of Professional Bodies

Head, BSU Centre for History and Culture

Current Memberships:
Royal Historical Society
Women's History Network
Gender and the European Town Research Network
1805 Club
British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Economic and Social History Association
Learning and Teaching Subject Network

Editorial Board Membership:
History of Parliament Editorial Board
Parliamentary History Journal
Women's History Review

Section Editor, History of Parliament: House of Lords, 1660-1832.

Parliamentary History Essay Prize Judge

Teaching Specialism

-- 18th/19th century British history
-- women's and gender history
-- political history/political culture
-- the history of early modern London
-- the social and political history of Georgian Bath (and spas and spa culture more generally)
-- the history of the country house
-- the cultural history of the British navy

Research Publications and Outputs

Number of items: 36.


Kaartinen, M and Chalus, E, eds. (2016) Gendering spaces in European towns, 1500-1914. Routledge research in gender and history . Routledge, New York. ISBN 9780415716987 (Forthcoming)

Chalus, E (2005) Elite women in English political life, c.1754-1790. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780199280100

Chalus, E and Barker, H (2005) Women's history: Britain, 1700-1850 - an introduction. Routledge. ISBN 9780415291767

Chalus, E (1997) Gender in eighteenth-century England: roles, representations and responsibilities. Addison Wesley Longman, London. ISBN 9780582278264

Book Chapter or Section

Chalus, E (2016) 'Spaces of sociability in the nineteenth-century resort town, Brighton and Nice, c.1825-60.' In: Chalus, E and Kaartinen, M, eds. Gendering spaces in European towns, 1500-1914. Routledge Research in Gender and History . Routledge, New York. ISBN 9780415716987 (Forthcoming)

Chalus, E (2014) 'The Burcott bear: gender, power and belonging in the Wells election of 1765.' In: Cowman, K and Koefoed, N and Sjogren, A, eds. Gender in urban Europe: sites of political activity and citizenship, 1750-1900. Routledge research in gender and history . Routledge, New York, pp. 77-92. ISBN 9780415868892 Please click the title to check availability.

Chalus, E (2012) 'Fanning the flames: women, fashion and politics.' In: Potter, T, ed. Women, popular culture and the eighteenth century. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. ISBN 9781442641815

Chalus, E (2009) '"Ladies are often very good scaffolding" : women and politics in the age of Anne.' In: Jones, C, ed. British politics in the age of Holmes : Geoffrey Holmes' s 'British Politics in the Age of Anne': 40 years on. Wiley-Blackwell for the Parliamentary History Yearbook Trust, Chichester. ISBN 9781405193344

Chalus, E (2005) 'Kisses for votes: the kiss and corruption in eighteenth-century English elections.' In: Harvey, K, ed. The kiss in history. Manchester University Press, pp. 122-147. ISBN 071906595X

Chalus, E (2004) 'Fremantle [née Wynne], Elizabeth [Betsey], Lady Fremantle (1778–1857)...[et al].' In: Oxford dictionary of national biography [online ed]. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Chalus, E (2003) 'The Rag plot : the politics of influence in Oxford, 1754.' In: Sweet, R and Lane, P, eds. Women and urban life in eighteenth-century England : on the town. Ashgate, Aldershot. ISBN 0754607305

Chalus, E (2001) '"To serve my friends": women and political patronage in eighteenth-century England.' In: Vickery, A, ed. Women, privilege, and power : British politics, 1750 to the present. Stanford University Press, California. ISBN 9780804742849

Chalus, E (2000) 'Women, electoral privilege, and practice in the eighteenth century.' In: Gleadle, K and Richardson, S, eds. Women in British politics, 1760-1860 : the power of the petticoat. PalgraveMacmillan, Basingstoke. ISBN 0333771419

Chalus, E (1998) '"'My Minerva' at my elbow" - the political roles of women in 18th-century England.' In: Taylor, S and Connors, R and Jones, C, eds. Hanoverian Britain and empire : essays in memory of Philip Lawson. Boydell Press, Suffolk. ISBN 0851157203

Chalus, E (1997) ''That epidemical madness' : women and electoral politics in the late eighteenth century.' In: Chalus, E and Barker, H, eds. Gender in eighteenth-century England : roles, representations, and responsibilities. Addison Wesley Longman, London. ISBN 9780582278264


Chalus, E (2014) 'Cette fusion annuelle: cosmopolitanism and identity in Nice, c1815-1860.'Urban History, 41 (04). pp. 606-626. ISSN 1469-8706 Please click the title to check availability.

Chalus, E (2013) '“My Lord Sue”: Lady Susan Keck and the Great Oxfordshire Election of 1754.'Parliamentary History, 32 (3). pp. 443-459. ISSN 0264-2824

Chalus, E (2001) 'How Lady Susan wooed the voters.'BBC History Magazine, 2 (6). pp. 44-46. ISSN 1469-8552

Chalus, E (2000) 'Elite women, social politics and the political world of late eighteenth-century England.'Historical Journal, 43 (3). pp. 669-697. ISSN 0018-246X

Conference or Workshop Item

Chalus, E (2015) Social credit: Englishwomen in expatriate Florence post-1815. In: ISECS 2015 – 14th International Congress for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 27-31 July 2015, Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

Chalus, E (2015) 'We were very sociable together’: sociability and meaning in the life of Elizabeth Wynne Fremantle (1778-1857). In: Life-Cycles seminar series, 17 March 2015, Institute of Historical Research (IHR), London.

Chalus, E (2015) 'A most sociable & cheerful eveng': considering sociability across a female life — Elizabeth (née Wynne), Lady Fremantle (1778–1857). In: Towards a British Model of Sociability: Adaptation and Opposition [Vers un Modèle de Sociabilité Britannique: Dynamiques et Conflits], 13 March 2015, Université Paris 13, France.

Chalus, E (2015) Intimacy, love & loneliness: coping with separation during the Napoleonic Wars (the Fremantle Papers, c.1801–14). In: Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (TUCEMEMS) Seminar, 25 February 2015, University of Turku, Finland.

Chalus, E (2014) Elections and entertainments in an eighteenth-century England: no place for a lady? In: Portrait of a Lady? Ruin and Reputation in the Georgian Era, 14 November 2014, BRLSI, Bath, UK.

Chalus, E (2014) Intimacy, love & loneliness: coping with separation during the Napoleonic Wars (the Fremantle Papers, c.1801–14). In: The Long Eighteenth Century Seminar, 21 May 2014, Institute of Historical Research, London.

Chalus, E (2014) "Our House is like a Coffee room": the Fremantles in Italy, 1815–19. In: 10th Economic and Social Science History Conference, 23 - 26 April 2014, International Institute for Social History, Vienna, Austria.

Chalus, E (2014) "My dearest Tussy': family, navy and nation in the Fremantle Papers, 1801-1814". In: BSU Professorial Lecture Series, 5 March 2014, Holburne Museum, Bath, UK.

Chalus, E (2014) Anna Miller, Catherine Macaulay & Agnes Witts: Bath hostesses, diarists and travellers. In: Joseph Wright of Derby: Bath and Beyond Study Day, 24 February 2014, Holburne Museum, Bath.

Chalus, E (2014) Fanning the flames: fashion and politics in Eighteenth-Century England. In: Approaching Eighteenth-Century Culture: Methodologies in Eighteenth-Century Studies, 21 March 2014, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Chalus, E (2014) Fanning the flames: fashion and politics in Eighteenth-Century England. In: Fans, Flags and Songs Seminar, 24 September 2014, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Chalus, E (2014) Fanning the flames: fashion and politics in Eighteenth-Century England. In: Red Brick Building event, 26 November 2014, Glastonbury.

Chalus, E (2014) Using female life-writing to write history. In: LIfe Writing Study Day, 31 May 2014, Bath Spa University, UK.


Chalus, E (2009) Time Team: Lincoln’s Inn. [Film/video]

Chalus, E (2009) Time Team: Salisbury Cathedral. [Film/video]

Chalus, E (2008) Time Team: Keeping Up with the Georgians. [Film/video]

This list was generated from ResearchSPAce on Wed May 25 17:50:41 2016 IST.

Current Scholarship

My research interests revolve around the construction and interpretation of limits and boundaries, be these the interstices of sex, politics and corruption in eighteenth-century English political culture, the socio-cultural use of the spa town, the interplay of gender and identity in the long eighteenth-century, or the shifting meanings of family, state and empire as we move from the eighteenth century into the nineteenth.

My current research centres on a British Academy-funded project, 'The Admiral's Wife: An Intimate History of Family, Navy and Empire'. This project uses the remarkable life of little-known diarist, Elizabeth (Betsey, ne Wynne) Fremantle (b.1778d.1857), to write a biography that combines close-focus detail and panoramic historical sweep, giving an elite female participants view of the transition from ancien rgime to high Victorian empire. By examining the creation of a successful naval/imperial dynasty and highlighting the importance of women and family to the emerging Victorian service elite, it will pointedly address N.A.M. Rodgers call for research on naval wives and mothers, without which the social history of the Navy remains incomplete (Rodger, 2004). It will extend the ongoing re-evaluation of public and private in womens history, explore female agency and reveal the rich complexity of female experience. It will, vitally, bring to academic and public attention a new collection of primary sources of substantial interdisciplinary interest. Findings will be disseminated through public lectures, seminars, journal articles and a biography.

External Examiners

External Examinerships
--UWE, Bristol (to end of 2011-12)
--University of Hertfordshire (beginning Oct. 2012)

External Examiner: PhDs
--University of Oxford
--University of York
--Royal Holloway, University of London
--University of Swansea

Other External Roles

Relevant past experience:

Series Editor: Parliamentary History, Text and Study Series
Block editor: New DNB
Co-editor: Women's History Network Magazine
Sub-Editor, Past and Present

Grants Committee: British Federation of Women Graduates
Judge: Clare Evans Women's History Prize
Judge: Theodora Bosanquet Bursary

Co-Convenor: History and Discussion Group, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution

Section Editor: History of Parliament, House of Lords Project, 1660-1832
Editorial Board: History of Parliament Trust
Editorial board: Parliamentary History Journal
Editorial board: Women's History Review

Manuscript and article refereeing: numerous, including for Historical Journal, Urban History, Journal of British Studies, Parliamentary History, Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Women's History Review, Scottish Historical Review, OUP, Broadview Press, Boydell and Brewer

Project Reviewer/Referee: SSHRC (Canada); AHRC (UK)

Selected Conferences/Seminar Papers/Lectures (from 2010):
2013: ‘So You want to be a Twitterstorian?’, University of Aarhus (17 Dec.)
2013: ‘Love and Loneliness: Family and Navy in the Fremantle Papers, 1801–14’, Public Lecture, Syddansk University (4 Dec.)
2013: ‘Considerations of Participation and Meaning: Women and Politics in 18th Century England’, Early Modern Professional Women Symposium, University of Turku (26 Nov.)
2013: ‘My Dearest Tussy: Family and Navy in the Fremantle Papers, 1801–1814’, The Lives of Others: Biography, Ego-Documents, and the Grand Historical Narrative, Kulturelle Dynamiker Symposium, University of Aarhus (21 Nov.)
2013: ‘Writing Articles for International Journals — Publishing Strategies for PGR Students’, University of Aarhus (29 Oct.)
2013: ‘Love and Loneliness: Family, Navy and Nation in the Fremantle Papers, 1801–14’
Royal Historical Society Symposium, Intimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives, BSU, Corsham Court (18 Oct.)
2013: KEYNOTE: ‘My Dearest Tussy: Family and Navy in the Fremantle Papers, 1801–1814’, Navy and Nation: 1688 to the Present conference, Royal Maritime Museum, Greenwich (25–7 July)
2013: ‘The Captain’s Wife: Family and Community in the Fremantle Papers, c1800-14’
International Federation for Research in Women’s History and Women’s History Network Joint Conference: Women’s History: The Local and the Global, Sheffield (29 Aug.–1 Sept.)
2013: ‘No Place for a Lady: Re-considering Women and Voting in the 18C’
Gender and Political Culture, 1400-1800 Conference, Plymouth (29–31 Aug.)
2013: ‘Space, Place and le monde cosmopolite: Nice in the age of villeggiatura’, Gender in the European Town: Medieval to Modern Conference, Odense, Denmark (22–5 May)
2013: ‘Place, Space and Gender in Le monde cosmopolite: The Fremantles, A Female Household in Nice, 1855-7’, Institute of Historical Research, London (25 Jan.); University of Dundee (6 Mar.)

2012: Workshop: ‘Gender in the European Town: Women's Impact on Their Urban Communities’, Attending to Early Modern Women: Remapping Routes and Spaces Conference, Milwaukee (21–3 June)
2012: ‘Hunstrete House and the Popham Family’, Chew Valley Local History Association, Chew Magna (1 Nov.)
2012: Panel: Gender in the European Town, 1650-1900, European Social Science Conference, Glasgow (11–14 Apr.)
2012: 'My Dearest Tussy': Family Strategies in the Fremantle Papers, 1801-14: 1805 Club lecture, in conjunction with the Nelson Society (25 Feb.)
2012; KEYNOTE: 'Fashion and Politics in the 18th Century', Street Society, AGM, Street Somerset (25 Sept)
2012: 'Elizabeth Wynne Fremantle: The Swanbourne Years', Buckinghamshire Local History Network Annual conference, Little Chalfont, Bucks (29 Sept.)

2011: ‘Le Monde Cosmopolite: Age Place and Space in Nice, 1855-7’, Gender in the European Town colloquium, London (8–9 Dec.)
2011: ‘Becoming an Englishwoman in the Age of Revolutions', ASECS, Vancouver (17–20 Apr.)

2010: 'Lady Fremantle Travels', Gender in the European Town Colloqium, University of Helsinki (Dec.)
2010: KEYNOTE: ‘Women in Public Life’, Annual Avon Local History Day, Avon Local History and Archaeology, UWE, Bristol (Apr.)
2010: KEYNOTE: ‘Fanning the Flames: Fashion, Space and Politics in Eighteenth-Century England’, International Women's Day conference, University of Southern Denmark (Mar.)
2010: ‘The Burcott Bear: Political Gamesmanship in Wells, 1765’, Pensford Local History Association