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Chapter 3 - Full Faith and Credit

Honor, Finance, and the Neofeudal Utopia in Scott and Austen

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 February 2023

Jamison Kantor
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
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Summary

In the early nineteenth century, honor and disrepute were increasingly synonymous with terms like credit and debt. In Austen’s Emma, credit becomes a primary figure for the broader speculations about the inhabitants of Highbury. Long affiliated with a Whiggish ideology of commerce and its supposed levelling effects, credit, in Austen’s representation, turns out to be an elitist phenomenon, something made available only to those who already have honor, members of a “neofeudal” vanguard such as George Knightley, who can distribute credit at their discretion. However, Scott’s Rob Roy seems to rebuff Austen’s approach to credit and honor. Featuring a young protagonist who throws himself into the 1715 Jacobite uprising, rescues errant bills of credit from his father’s stock-brokerage, redeems family honor, and tries to impress his love interest, the novel at first appears to be an ideal neofeudal text, blending chivalric romance with modern commerce. But Rob Roy himself challenges the merger of these two paradigms. By decoupling honor from credit and disrupting the financialization of social value, the highlander becomes an unlikely scourge of incipient global finance capitalism.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Full Faith and Credit
  • Jamison Kantor, Ohio State University
  • Book: Honor, Romanticism, and the Hidden Value of Modernity
  • Online publication: 23 February 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009127233.005
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  • Full Faith and Credit
  • Jamison Kantor, Ohio State University
  • Book: Honor, Romanticism, and the Hidden Value of Modernity
  • Online publication: 23 February 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009127233.005
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save 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 saving content to Google Drive.

  • Full Faith and Credit
  • Jamison Kantor, Ohio State University
  • Book: Honor, Romanticism, and the Hidden Value of Modernity
  • Online publication: 23 February 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009127233.005
Available formats
×