Borgerliga ambitioner och adliga ideal. Slott och byggherrar i Sverige kring sekelskiftet 1900

Sammanfattning: The dissertation describes and analyses twenty newly built country houses in the period 1870-1920. Half of the houses were built by aristocrats and half by people from the bourgeois. A few of the country houses have been the subject of individual studies or are described briefly in general surveys, but the vast majority have remained relatively unknown. My overall aim is to study differences and similarities between the houses built by noble and bourgeois people. In the analysis I have used the famous work by the American economist and philosopher Thorstein Veblen, The theory of the Leisure Class from 1899, finding concepts of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure particularly useful. I have chosen to focus on the patrons, including both the male and the female party. Among the owners there are several of the most famous noble families in Sweden. Several of the bourgeois mansions were built by people whose companies played an important part in Swedish business. The main source material is the existing buildings themselves. Many of the commissioned architects did not belong to the élite of the day; there is a fact a strikingly large number of less well-known names. From a distance it is scarcely possible to detect any differences between a bourgeois and an aristocratic country house at this time. If one looks more closely at the buildings and studies the ornamentations, both outside and inside, however, the differences between the two groups become clearer.

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