The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England

The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England

by David Porter


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The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England by David Porter

Eighteenth-century consumers in Britain, living in an increasingly globalized world, were infatuated with exotic Chinese and Chinese-styled goods, art and decorative objects. However, they were also often troubled by the alien aesthetic sensibility these goods embodied. This ambivalence figures centrally in the period's experience of China and of contact with foreign countries and cultures more generally. David Porter analyzes the processes by which Chinese aesthetic ideas were assimilated within English culture. Through case studies of individual figures, including William Hogarth and Horace Walpole, and broader reflections on cross-cultural interaction, Porter's readings develop new interpretations of eighteenth-century ideas of luxury, consumption, gender, taste and aesthetic nationalism. Illustrated with many examples of Chinese and Chinese-inspired objects and art, this is a major contribution to eighteenth-century cultural history and to the history of contact and exchange between China and the West.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521192996
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/31/2010
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

David Porter is Associate Professor in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.

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