1st Edition

Consumption and the World of Goods

Edited By John Brewer, Roy Porter Copyright 1994
    652 Pages
    by Routledge

    588 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The study of past society in terms of what it consumes rather than what it produces is - relatively speaking - a new development. The focus on consumption changes the whole emphasis and structure of historical enquiry. While human beings usually work within a single trade or industry as producers, as, say, farmers or industrial workers, as consumers they are active in many different markets or networks. And while history written from a production viewpoint has, by chance or design, largely been centred on the work of men, consumption history helps to restore women o the mainstream.
    The history of consumption demands a wide range of skills. It calls upon the methods and techniques of many other disciplines, including archaeology, sociology, social and economic history, anthropology and art criticism. But it is not simply a melting-pot of techniques and skills, brought to bear on a past epoch. Its objectives amount to a new description of a past culture in its totality, as perceived through its patterns of consumption in goods and services.
    Consumption and the World of Goods is the first of three volumes to examine history from this perspective, and is a unique collaboration between twenty-six leading subject specialists from Europe and North America. The outcome is a new interpretation of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, one that shapes a new historical landscape based on the consumption of goods and services.

    Chapter 1 Introduction, John Brewer, Roy Porter; Part 1 Problems, Methods and Concepts; Chapter 2 Corning up for Air: Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective, Jean-Christophe Agnew; Chapter 3 Understanding Traditional and Modern Patterns of Consumption in Eighteenth-Century England: A Character–Action Approach, Colin Campbell; Chapter 4 Consumption: Disease of The Consumer Society?, Roy Porter; Part 2 Goods and Consumption; Chapter 5 Between Purchasing Power and the World of Goods: Understanding the Household Economy in Early Modern Europe, Jan de Vriesm; Chapter 6 European Consumption and Asian Production in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, John E. Jr Wills; Chapter 7 Res et Verba: Conspicuous Consumption in the Early Modern World, Peter Burke; Chapter 8 Consumption in Early Modern Social Thought, Joyce Appleby; Part 3 Production and the Meaning of Possessions; Chapter 9 Changes in English and Anglo-American Consumption from 1550 to 1800, Carole Shammas; Chapter 10 The Meaning of Consumer Behaviour in Late Seventeenth- and early Eighteenth-Century England, Lorna Weatherill; Chapter 11 The Production and Marketing of Populuxe Goods in Eighteenth-Century Paris, Cissie Fairchilds; Chapter 12 The Meanings of Things: Interpreting the Consumer Economy in the Eighteenth Century, T. H. Breen; Chapter 13 The Changing Roles of Food in the Study of Consumption, Sidney W. Mintz; Chapter 14 Women and the World of Goods: a Lancashire Consumer and her Possessions, 1751–81, Amanda Vickery; Part 4 Literacy and Numeracy; Chapter 15 Literacy in Context: Meaning and Measurement in Early Modern England, David Cressy; Chapter 16 Reckoning with Commerce: Numeracy in Eighteenth-Century America, Patricia Cline Cohen; Chapter 17 Teaching in the Market-Place, or ‘Caesar Adsum Jam Forte: Pompey Aderat’: the Retailing of Knowledge in Provincial England During the Eighteenth Century, John Money; Part 5 The Consumption of Culture: Books and Newspapers; Chapter 18 The Book Trade in Eastern Europe in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries, Iaroslav Isaievych; Chapter 19 Selling it to the Provinces: News and Commerce Round Eighteenth-Century Salisbury, C. Y. Ferdinand; Chapter 20 The Business of Political Enlightenment in France, 1770–1800, Jeremy D. Popkin; Part 6 Consumption, Objects and Images; Chapter 21 Reading and Writing with Nature: A Materialist Approach to French Formal Gardens, Chandra Mukerji; Chapter 22 Presuming Images and Consuming Words: The Visualization of Knowledge from the Enlightenment to Post-Modernism, Barbara Maria Stafford; Chapter 23 Perishable Commodities: Dutch Still-Life Painting and the ‘Empire of Things’, Simon Schama; Chapter 24 The Consuming Flame: Electrical Showmen and Tory Mystics in the World of Goods, Simon Schaffer; Chapter 25 Manufacturing, Consumption and Design in Eighteenth-Century England, John Styles;


    John Brewer

    'Oustanding collection of essays ...' - The Observer ABC CIRC 551 475

    'The papers reflect a marvellous diversity of methodological approaches and material content, .... a stimulating collection of papers, all of an extremely high standard, ...' - Patricia Fara British Jrnl for History of Science

    'There is something for everybody in this big volume...' - The Times Literary Supplement

    'This book deserves to be widely read,...' - Financial Times

    'outstanding collection of essays.' - The Observer