'I Feel as if Part of [My] Self Was Torn from Me': Entrepreneurship, Absence and Loneliness in Nineteenth-century England

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter examines experiences of entrepreneurial loneliness in the 19th century. Positioning loneliness as a product of absence, I use a case study of John and Elizabeth Shaw to explore how entrepreneurial activities generated loneliness in my subjects’ lives and how they reacted to and attempted cope with such experiences. Against a background of quickening industrialization and distanciation, entrepreneurial families found themselves negotiating changing understandings of male and female roles, particularly as they played out in public and domestic settings. John and Elizabeth experience loneliness as a painful emotion and longed for each other’s presence in the setting of the family home—a home that John’s entrepreneurship frequently took him from. Nonetheless, it is hard to identify a uniquely entrepreneurial experience of loneliness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge History of Loneliness
EditorsKatie Barclay, Elanie Chalus, Deborah Simonton
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9780367355081, 9781032437576
ISBN (Electronic)9780429331848
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Cite this