Plebian born: an examination of the life of T.M. White (1861-1938) through the lens of class, gender and melodrama

Connors-Stack, Margo (2019) Plebian born: an examination of the life of T.M. White (1861-1938) through the lens of class, gender and melodrama. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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T. M. White (1861-1938) was a St. John’s wheelwright, actor, labour leader, political hopeful and civil servant. His was the life of an ordinary person, a liminal man aspiring to middle class respectability. This biographical microhistory illuminates aspects of the culture of the time and place viewed through the trifold lens of class, gender (masculinity) and melodrama. Through White’s involvement in the Total Abstinence and Benefit Society and the Mechanics’ Society, the role of volunteer associations as an educative and socializing force for working class men is evident. Also, White’s activities with the Mechanics’ Society and the Newfoundland Industrial Workers Association provide snapshots of the early days of the burgeoning labour movement. Similarly, White’s involvement in amateur theatre provides a window into a segment of local theatre culture. Finally, White’s attempts to attain elected office and his lawsuit against businessman R. G. Reid provide a view of the political culture of the era as it impacted an individual.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13986
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 149-156).
Keywords: T.M. White 1861-1938, St. John's. NL, microhistory, class, masculinity, melodrama, amateur theatre, labour, politics, mechanics' society, temperance society
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: October 2019
Date Type: Submission

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