Diligent aristocracy

Nobility, service and work in Sweden, from the Great Northern War to the Napoleonic Wars

The project focuses on elite history with a perspective on work and service, masculinity and femininity. It will analyse work and service undertaken by nobility both on everyday level and on ideological level. The project provides a novel analysis of life and ideology of an elite in eighteenth-century Europe, focusing especially on the Swedish aristocracy from the end of the Great Northern War to the end of Napoleonic Wars (c. 1720–1820).
The project seeks to answer to:

  1. How did nobility conceptualise service (service, tjänst) and work (work, travaille, arbete)?
  2. How did masculinity and femininity determine the activities in which aristocrats engaged themselves?
  3. n what respect did aristocratic or noble ideas of work differ from bourgeois or middle-class conceptualisation of work?

Project group: Johanna Ilmakunnas

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