Luxury in the Eighteenth Century: Debates, Desires and Delectable Goods

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Luxury was the keyword of the eighteenth century, and the history of luxury links diverse topics of enquiry such as material culture, taste, civility, sensibility, literature, and art. Luxury in the Eighteenth Century explores the political, economic, moral, and intellectual effects of the production and consumption of luxury goods, and provides a broadly-based account from a variety of perspectives, addressing key themes of economic debate, material culture, the principles of art and taste, luxury as "female vice" and the exotic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'In this volume late twentieth-century scholars fasten with enthusiasm on both the practicalities that created evermore consumer goods and exalted luxury, and on the philosophical controversies and imaginative literature that it endangered. They marry literature and history in a most stimulating collection...This is a thought-provoking book...The text establishes an impressive network of connections not only between literature and history, but with moral philosophy and aesthetics as well. It will surely spark more investigations of consumerism and luxury.' - Joan Thirsk, Literature and History

'[In] Maxine Berg and Elizabeth Eger's excellent new collection of essays, Luxury in the Eighteenth Century...we find a subtle historical argument that describes how the concept of luxury emerged from inherited moral and religious discourses, to become an integral part of our understanding of modernity' - David Mazella, Eighteenth Century Studies

'Luxury in the Eighteenth Century provides both a synopsis of existing literature on the subject and a major step forward in tis analysis. It is an important academic landmark. It is refreshing that Asian and American viewpoints are embraced, adding depth and an important corrective to our understanding of the English 'long eighteenth century'.' - Helen Clifford, Journal of Design History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230517790
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,337,635
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

MAXINE BERG is Professor of History and Director of the Warwick Eighteenth-Century Centre at the University of Warwick, UK. She directed the Luxury Project 1997-2000, and is now director of the Leverhulme Art and Industry Project. She is the co-editor, with Helen Clifford, of Consumers and Luxury: Consumer Culture in Europe 1650-1850 (1999), and author of The Age of Manufactures 1700-1820 (1994). She is completing a book entitled The People's Delight: Modern Luxury in Eighteenth-Century England.

ELIZABETH EGER is Lecturer in the Department of English, King's College London, UK. She is co-editor of Women and the Public Sphere (2000), editor of The Selected Writings of Elizabeth Montagu (1999). She is currently completing a book, Living Muses: Women of Reason from Enlightenment to Romanticism.

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Table of Contents

• The Rise and Fall of the Luxury Debates
• Mandeville, Rousseau and the Political Economy of Fantasy
• Luxury in the Dutch Golden Ages in Theory and Practice
• Aestheticizing the Critique of Luxury: Smollett's Humphry Clinker
• Furnishing Discourses: Readings of a Writing Desk in Eighteenth-Century France
• The Circulation of Luxury Goods in Eighteenth-Century Paris: Social Distribution and an Alternative Currency
• Custom or Consumption? Plebeian Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England
• From the Moral Mound to the Material Maze: Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty
• From Luxury to Comfort and Back Again: Landscape Architecture and the Cottage in Britain and America
• Vase Mania
• Performing Roxane: The Oriental Woman as the Sign of Luxury in Eighteenth-Century Fictions
• Luxury, Satire and Prostitute Narratives
• Luxury, Industry and Charity: Bluestocking Culture Displayed
• Luxuries or Not? Consumption of Silk and Porcelain in Eighteenth-Century China
• Luxury, Clothing and Race in Spanish America
• Asian Luxuries and the Making of the European Consumer Revolution

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