Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Paperback | May 3, 2007

byMaxine Berg

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In this book, Maxine Berg explores the invention, making, and buying of new, semi-luxury, and fashionable consumer goods during the eighteenth century. It follows these goods, from china tea ware to all sorts of metal ornaments such as candlesticks, cutlery, buckles, and buttons, as they weremade and shopped for, then displayed in the private domestic settings of Britain's urban middling classes. It tells the stories and analyses the developments that led from a global trade in Eastern luxuries beginning in the sixteenth century to the new global trade in British-made consumer goods bythe end of the eighteenth century. These new products, regarded as luxuries by the rapidly growing urban and middling-class people of the eighteenth century, played an important part in helping to proclaim personal identities,and guide social interaction. Customers enjoyed shopping for them; they took pleasure in their beauty,ingenuity or convenience. All manner of new products appeared in shop windows; sophisticated mixed-media advertising seduced customers and created new wants. This unparalleled 'product revolution' provoked philosophers and pundits to proclaim a 'new luxury', one that reached out to the middling andtrading classes, unlike the elite and corrupt luxury of old. Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth Century Britain is cultural history at its best, built on a fresh empirical base drawn directly from customs accounts, advertising material, company papers, and contemporary correspondence. Maxine Berg traces how this new consumer society of the eighteenth centuryand the products first traded, then invented to satisfy it, stimulated industrialization itself. Global markets for the consumer goods of private and domestic life inspired the industrial revolution and British products 'won the world'.

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From the Publisher

In this book, Maxine Berg explores the invention, making, and buying of new, semi-luxury, and fashionable consumer goods during the eighteenth century. It follows these goods, from china tea ware to all sorts of metal ornaments such as candlesticks, cutlery, buckles, and buttons, as they weremade and shopped for, then displayed in the ...

Maxine Berg is Professor of History at the University of Warwick where she has taught since 1978. She is also Director of the Warwick Eighteenth-Century Centre and has recently become a Fellow of the British Academy. Currently writing on global history and the history of luxury and consumer culture, she has also published widely on wo...

other books by Maxine Berg

Goods from the East, 1600-1800: Trading Eurasia
Goods from the East, 1600-1800: Trading Eurasia

Kobo ebook|Jul 13 2015

$91.19 online$118.37list price(save 22%)
see all books by Maxine Berg
Format:PaperbackDimensions:392 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:May 3, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199215286

ISBN - 13:9780199215287

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart 1: Luxury, Quality, and Delight1. The Delights of Luxury2. Goods from the East3. Invention, Imitation, and DesignPart 2: How it was Made4. Glass and Chinaware: The Grammar of the Polite Table5. Metal Things: Useful Devices and Agreeable TrinketsPart 3: A Nation of Shoppers6. The Middling Classes: Acquisitiveness and Self-Respect7. 'Shopping is a Place to Go': Fashion, Shopping, and Advertising8. Mercantile Theatres: British Commodities and American ConsumersConclusion

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition She aims to re-connect product and process, and succeeds triumphantly. Massive detail, briskly summarized, is subordinated to a series of arguments that give this powerful but combative work its freshness.'Toby Barnard, TLS