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From the Publisher"An ingenious new monograph by David Porter, professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Michigan, explores the significance of Chinese decorative arts in 18th-century England. It turns out that the English conducted many serious social and political debates in the idiom of Chinese porcelain [...] Some of his readings, Porter concedes, are speculative. There were moments when, encountering a provocative claim at the beginning of a chapter, I raised an eyebrow, cleared my throat, and prepared to doubt. Yet every one of his arguments is compelling—and it is a testimony to his patience, carefulness, and creativity that most are persuasive."
-Lauren F. Winner , Books and Culture
"Not only does The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England greatly expand our knowledge of the cultural assimilation of chinoiserie in Britain, it also offers fresh insights into other important stylistic trends in the period, such as Classicism, Gothicism and Romanticism [...] Porter's new readings will allow us to re-examine eighteenth-century ideas of luxury, taste and aesthetic nationalism. Illustrated with many examples of Chinese and Chinese-inspired objects and art, this new monograph is a major contribution to the cultural history of exchange between China and the West."
-Daniel Cook, The Times Literary Supplement
"Historians of eighteenth-century English material culture and its influences have been well served by this erudite and fascinating take on a topic we thought we knew well."
-Clive Edwards, The British Scholar Society
"Porter aims for a more rigorous standard that avoids overly elevating coincidental aesthetic traditions and also does not underestimate the complexity and value of transcontinental exchange."
-Elizabeth Chang, Eighteenth-Century Fiction