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Matthew Bliss

Thesis: Building the ‘property-owning democracy’: Speculative housebuilding in postwar Britain

Supervisors: Dr Otto Saumarez Smith, Prof Mathew Thomson


This project uses private estates and owner-occupation as a means to intervene in debates about the postwar period in British history, following on from similar projects on postwar planning by Otto Saumarez Smith and Guy Ortolano (NYU). My approach integrates architectural history with social, political, cultural, and postwar history generally. It seeks to challenge orthodox characterisations of the period as a broadly 'social democratic' one, instead viewing it as having laid the groundwork for Thatcherism in many respects.

This research is funded by the Wolfson Foundation.


Set of Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, built by Broseley Homes.

Areas of interest:

  • Postwar architecture
  • Urban history
  • Modern British History (MBH)
  • Music history


  • 2020-21: MA in History (University of Manchester)
  • 2016-19: BA in History with Politics (University of Leicester)


I welcome any questions about my areas of interest. Reach me at:

Headshot of Matthew Bliss