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Chapter 38 - Material Culture

from Part VI - Social and Intellectual Topics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2024

Joseph Hone
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Pat Rogers
Affiliation:
University of South Florida
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Summary

Swift’s world was a material one, influenced by his experiences of the institutionalisation of British imperialism, mercantile capitalism, science, medicine, philosophy, the book trade, party politics, and aesthetics. This chapter focuses on a single category of material culture of especial importance in Swift’s writings: consumer goods. The early part of this chapter sets out the essential background on the ‘consumer revolution’ in the early eighteenth century, before addressing its influence on Swift’s writings: in particular the pamphlets concerned with Irish manufacturing, and his fascination with the material culture of women’s dressing rooms.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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