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Chapter 6 - Transacting Hospitality

The Novel Networks of the Visiting Card

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 August 2020

Gillian Russell
Affiliation:
University of York
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Summary

Chapter 6 deals with the visiting card as a new form of social media that anticipates the text messaging of today, exploring how its novelty caught the attention of Horace Walpole and Samuel Johnson. As a genre that was particularly invested in the representation of social life, the novel is one of the most important sources for understanding the complexities of visiting in eighteenth-century social life and textual media that facilitated and recorded it. With reference to the novels of Jane Austen and, in particular, Maria Edgeworth’s The Absentee (1812), I discuss how prose fiction adapted the capacity of visiting card and other kinds of ephemeral texts in order to realise the affective power of the intimate social encounter entailed in handing over one’s card. I argue that The Absentee is exceptional as a fiction that not only utilises the visiting card but also emulates ephemerology as the Enlightenment’s other science.

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The Ephemeral Eighteenth Century
Print, Sociability, and the Cultures of Collecting
, pp. 186 - 213
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Transacting Hospitality
  • Gillian Russell, University of York
  • Book: The Ephemeral Eighteenth Century
  • Online publication: 13 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108767347.007
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  • Transacting Hospitality
  • Gillian Russell, University of York
  • Book: The Ephemeral Eighteenth Century
  • Online publication: 13 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108767347.007
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Transacting Hospitality
  • Gillian Russell, University of York
  • Book: The Ephemeral Eighteenth Century
  • Online publication: 13 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108767347.007
Available formats
×