Historians use the phrase “the cult of the exotic” to describe the fascination with the foreign or strange that both led to and was intensified by the eighteenth century’s scientific and imperialistic ventures in the Pacific and elsewhere. This volume offers new historical contexts for encounters both real and imaginary and shows the evolution of Europeans’ ideas about themselves and those cultures they considered exotic. The essays draw on a wide variety of sources—art, architecture, scientific and literary works, journals and diaries, and the European popular cultural and political press—to explore eighteenth-century perceptions of the exotic and to demonstrate just how far-reaching “the cult of the exotic” was.
Contributors. Geraldine Barnes, Alexandra Cook, David Culpin, John Greene, Suzanne Kiernan, Christa Knellwolf, Adrian Mitchell, Lisa O’Connell, David Paxman, Ali Uzay Peker, Glynis Ridley, Nicholas Rogers, Walter Veit