Over 24,000 people in Dublin were identified as either 'boarders' or 'lodgers' in the 1911 census, but they are largely absent from the pages of history. Many lived within a family dwelling, as lodgers, boarders and 'paying guests', while others occupied more institutional surroundings in common lodging houses and their charitable counterparts.
This talk considers the nature of the lodging phenomenon in the city and its suburbs at the turn of the twentieth century, looking both at lodgers and their hosts.
What types of people became lodgers? Sometimes they were migrants arriving to the city in search of employment, others were single adults of limited means, or fairly well-to-do individuals without the protection of a family.
The families who took in lodgers were also varied, but were often dependent on their sub-tenants to supplement their income and elevate their social and financial status. This talk will look both at the facts which can be established about lodging at this time, and at the perception of lodgers as reflected in literature and newspapers.
Ruth McManus is associate professor of Geography at DCU School of History & Geography. She is the author of, 'Dublin 1910-1940: shaping the city and suburbs' (2002), and, 'Crampton Built' (2008), and co-editor of 'Leaders of the City' (2013). She is particularly interested in the nature of the urban and suburban landscape and much of her work focuses on the physical and social development of everyday spaces.
Current projects include the Drumcondra fascicle for the RIA Irish Historic Towns Atlas new Dublin Suburbs series, research on lodgers, explorations into housing in provincial towns and a book on twentieth-century Dublin.
Exclusive offer to RDS Members:
RDS Members who book for this talk and attend, will be entered in a free draw with a chance to win a signed copy of one of Ruth’s books. The draw will take place after the talk on March 7.
The above talk is admission free but prior booking is essential.
Voluntary donations by attendees to assist in covering costs are welcomed.