Consumption and the Country House

Hardcover | July 9, 2016

byJon Stobart, Mark Rothery

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This study explores the consumption practices of the landed aristocracy of Georgian England. Focussing on three families and drawing on detailed analysis of account books, receipted bills, household inventories, diaries and correspondence, Consumption and the Country House charts the spendingpatterns of this elite group during the so-called consumer revolution of the eighteenth century. Generally examined through the lens of middling families, homes and motivations, this book explores the ways in which the aristocracy were engaged in this wider transformation of English society. Analysis centres on the goods that the aristocracy purchased, both luxurious and mundane; the extent towhich they pursued fashionable modes and goods; the role that family and friends played in shaping notions of taste; the influence of gender on taste and refinement; the geographical reach of provisioning and the networks that lay behind this consumer activity, and the way this all contributed tothe construction of the country house. The country house thus emerges as much more than a repository of luxury and splendour; it lay at the heart of complex networks of exchange, sociability, demand, and supply. Exploring these processes and relationships serves to reanimate the country house, making it an active site of consumption rather than simply an expression of power and taste, and drawing it into the mainstream of consumption histories. At the same time, the landed aristocracy are shown to berounded consumers, driven by values of thrift and restraint as much as extravagant desires, and valuing the old as well as the new, not least as markers of their pedigree and heritance.

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This study explores the consumption practices of the landed aristocracy of Georgian England. Focussing on three families and drawing on detailed analysis of account books, receipted bills, household inventories, diaries and correspondence, Consumption and the Country House charts the spendingpatterns of this elite group during the so-c...

Jon Stobart is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University. His has published widely on the history of consumption, retailing and leisure in eighteenth-century England, and has a particular interest in the spatiality of consumption and the marketing of goods. His recent publications include Sugar and Spice: Grocer and Gr...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pagesPublished:July 9, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198726260

ISBN - 13:9780198726265

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Anatomy of elite spending: fashion, luxury, and splendour2. Constructing the country house: habitus, performance, and assemblages of goods3. Practicalities, utility, and the everydayness of consumption4. Gentlemen's things: the masculine world of goods and consumption as self fashioning5. Gentlewomen's things: women and country house consumption6. Consumption and the household: family, friends, and servants7. Supplying the country house: craftsmen and retailers8. Geographies of consumption: hierarchies, localities, and shoppingConclusionsAppendix: family treesBibliography