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In Sparkling Company: Glass and the Costs of Social Life in Britain During the 1700s: Social Life -- Selected Reading
May 22, 2021 – January 2, 2022, Changing Exhibitions Gallery, The Corning Museum of Glass
In October this year, The King George III Collection, a unique and extraordinarily well preserved assembly of scientific instruments, goes on display in a specially commissioned gallery at the Science Museum in London. This lavishly illustrated book explores the development of scientific exploration during the period and also comprises the catalogue of this collection. The result is a fascinating perspective on scientific life in London during the mid-18th century. Public lectures on "natural" or "experimental philosophy" had become well established and very popular by this time, and craftsmen made apparatus to be used in these demonstrations. George Adams was one of the most well-known of these craftsmen, and he was commissioned by George III to make various pieces of equipment which were to be used for entertaining or instructing members of the royal family and household. This apparatus is both ornate and of a very high quality and has remained remarkably well preserved. The rest of the collection comprises the equipment that was housed at the Royal Observatory and that apparatus is much simpler and utilitarian in design because it was made to be used in public lectures. The collection illustrates the private and public aspects of the spread of scientific knowledge in the 18th century and the book explores the link between this spread of knowledge and the broader cultural developments of the period.
During the eighteenth century, porcelain held significant cultural and artistic importance. This collection represents one of the first thorough scholarly attempts to explore the diversity of the medium's cultural meanings. Among the volume's purposes is to expose porcelain objects to the analytical and theoretical rigor which is routinely applied to painting, sculpture and architecture, and thereby to reposition eighteenth-century porcelain within new and more fruitful interpretative frameworks. The authors also analyze the aesthetics of porcelain and its physical characteristics, particularly the way its tactile and visual qualities reinforced and challenged the social processes within which porcelain objects were viewed, collected, and used.... The geographical areas covered in the collection include China, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, Britain, America, Japan, Austria, and Holland.
A study of the V&A's historical dress collection, featuring dressmaking techniques such as Jacobean blackwork, neo-classical tambour work, decorative seams, delicate stitching, knife-sharp pleats, drapery, stamping, pinking and slashing.
In this groundbreaking work, Bill Ashcroft extends the arguments posed in The Empire Writes Back to investigate the transformative effects of postcolonial resistance and the continuing relevance of colonial struggle. He demonstrates the remarkable capacity for change and adaptation emanating from postcolonial cultures both in everyday life and in the intellectual spheres of literature, history and philosophy.
Francis Watkins was an eminent figure in his field of mathematical and optical instrument making in mid-eighteenth century London. Working from original documents, Brian Gee has uncovered the life and times of an optical instrument maker, who--at first glance--was not among the most prominent in his field.... He played an important role in one of the most significant legal cases to touch this profession, namely the patenting of the achromatic lens in telescopes. The book explains Watkins's origins, and how and why he was drawn into partnership with the famous Dollond firm, who at that point were Huguenot incomers. The patent for the achromatic telescope has never been satisfactorily explained in the literature, and the author has gone back to the original legal documents, never before consulted. He teases out the problems, lays out the evidence, and comes to some interesting new conclusions, showing the Dollonds as hard-headed and ruthless businessmen, ultimately extremely successful....
French mourning wreaths, Ukrainian Easter eggs, Norwegian bodices, Chinese slippers, Pakistani hair tassels, Egyptian belly-dancing outfits, Maasai wedding dresses, Sioux moccasins ... from Greenland to Bali, beadwork from all over the world is illustrated and its history revealed. The earliest drawn glass beads were produced from around 200 BC in various locations in India and exported for centuries along the major trade routes to Africa and Asia. From the sixteenth century on, beads made in Europe became highly desirable trade items and spread throughout the world.... Each of four main regional sections--Africa; the Americas; Europe; and Asia, Oceania, and the Arabian Gulf--outlines the history of beads in that area before examining production in detail. A fifth section surveys techniques, from brick stitch and herringbone weave to lazy stitch and three-dimensional structures. Includes information on collecting and conserving beadwork and a list of public collections around the world.
Luxury items from centuries past are most often seen within museum settings, devoid of their connotations in time and space. This groundbreaking book seeks to reimagine objects from 18th-century Paris within their original context, showing how they were used in the daily routines of elite members of society. Against the background of the reign of Louis XV (r. 1723-1774), the chapters move chronologically from morning to night, covering such topics as temporal literacy and technological advances in timekeeping; innovations in domestic architecture and design for privacy; fashion and self-identity as expressed in the ritual of the morning toilette; reading and discussion of literary texts as influences on the collecting of art; and sociability and politesse during nocturnal entertainments. The book reflects current scholarship in social history and material culture, but rather than being an exploration of the vernacular, it investigates the emergence of the luxury trade in 18th-century Paris, whose products survive in great quantity due to their superior materials and craftsmanship. The essays reveal many of the considerations--practical, social, and aesthetic--that inspired their production.... The publication coincides with the exhibition Paris: Life & Luxury on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from April 26 through August 7, 2011 and at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from September 18 through December 10, 2011.
The art of portraiture was one key way in which Britons negotiated their relationship to slavery. Many of the white “sitters” (portrait subjects) in this exhibition chose to be portrayed alongside black servants, who often were explicitly identified as their chattel slaves. In these portraits, qualities that eighteenth-century Britons valued--freedom, whiteness, and refinement--were imagined in opposition to the bondage and blackness of those who arrived in Britain from Africa, the Caribbean, or North America as slaves. By the end of the century, portraiture would also become a means for some people of African descent who crossed the Atlantic aboard slave ships to forge new identities as both African and British....
Isobel Armstrong's startlingly original and beautifully illustrated book tells the stories that spring from the mass-production of glass in 19th-century England. Moving across technology, industry, local history, architecture, literature, print culture, the visual arts, optics, and philosophy, it will transform our understanding of the Victorian period.... Glass culture constituted Victorian modernity. It was made from infinite variations of the prefabricated glass panel, and the lens. The mirror and the window became its formative elements, both the texts and constituents of glass culture. The glassworlds of the century are heterogeneous.... But they were nevertheless governed by two inescapable conditions. First, to look through glass was to look through the residues of the breath of an unknown artisan, because glass was mass produced by incorporating glassblowing into the division of labour. Second, literally a new medium, glass brought the ambiguity of transparency and the problems of mediation into the everyday. It intervened between seer and seen, incorporating a modern philosophical problem into bodily experience.... A meditation on its history and phenomenology, Victorian Glassworlds is a poetics of glass for 19th-century modernity.
Benjamin Franklin's invention of the lightning rod is the founding fable of American science, but Franklin was only one of many early Americans fascinated by electricity. As a dramatically new physical experience, electricity amazed those who dared to tame the lightning and set it coursing through their own bodies. Thanks to its technological and medical utility, but also its surprising ability to defy rational experimental mastery, electricity was a powerful experience of enlightenment, at once social, intellectual, and spiritual. In this compelling book, James Delbourgo moves beyond Franklin to trace the path of electricity through early American culture, exploring how the relationship between human, natural, and divine powers was understood in the 18th century. By examining the lives and visions of natural philosophers, spectacular showmen, religious preachers, and medical therapists, he shows how electrical experiences of wonder, terror, and awe were connected to a broad array of cultural concerns that defined the American Enlightenment.... The first book to situate early American experimental science in the context of a transatlantic public sphere, A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders offers a captivating view of the origins of American science and the cultural meaning of the American Enlightenment. In a story of shocks and sparks from New England to the Caribbean, Delbourgo brilliantly illuminates a revolutionary New World of wonder.
Enlightenment inquiries into the weather sought to impose order on a force that had the power to alter human life and social conditions. British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment reveals how a new sense of the national climate emerged in the 18th century from the systematic recording of the weather, and how it was deployed in discussions of the health and welfare of the population. Enlightened intellectuals hailed climate's role in the development of civilization but acknowledged that human existence depended on natural forces that would never submit to rational control. Reading the Enlightenment through the ideas, beliefs, and practices concerning the weather, Jan Golinski aims to reshape our understanding of the movement and its legacy for modern environmental thinking....
The study of past society in terms of what it consumes rather than what it produces is--relatively speaking--a new development. The focus on consumption changes the whole emphasis and structure of historical enquiry. While human beings usually work within a single trade or industry as producers, as, say, farmers or industrial workers, as consumers they are active in many different markets or networks. And while history written from a production viewpoint has, by chance or design, largely been centred on the work of men, consumption history helps to restore women to the mainstream.... Consumption and the World of Goods is the first of three volumes to examine history from this perspective, and is a unique collaboration between twenty-six leading subject specialists from Europe and North America. The outcome is a new interpretation of the 17th and 18th centuries, one that shapes a new historical landscape based on the consumption of goods and services.
For every great country house of the Georgian period, there was usually also a town house.... This book seeks to place centre-stage the hugely important yet hitherto overlooked town houses of the 18th and early 19th centuries, exploring the prime position they once occupied in the lives of families and the nation as a whole. It explores the owners, how they furnished and used these properties, and how their houses were judged by the various types of visitor who gained access.
There is a continuing interest 18th-century drinking glasses which is fuelled by the enormous variety of bowls and stems. The revised edition of this guide features digitally enhanced photographs, a wealth of illustrations and an extensive bibliography by Robert Elleray.
Examines European dress as it evolved in 18th-century France. The text looks at French dress first from an aesthetic point of view, describing in detail fashionable and everyday clothes. It then examines the social and economic factors affecting fashion and compares styles in major European cities.
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 18th century and 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."
The author delves into the materials used for construction and embellishment throughout the period: artful applications of dyed sugar, sand, marble dust or chalk lent lustre and colour to tables and floors, whilst painted scenery and transparencies created from thousands of variegated lamps transformed existing venues into unfamiliar marvels. Spectacular stand-alone firework temples and temporary reception rooms were often crafted of little more than wood, canvas and paint. Drawing on primary sources including personal letters, diary entries, bills and newspaper accounts, this book investigates how successful these fanciful designs were in creating fleeting moments of delight with lasting impact and popular appeal.
Article Abstract: Electricity was the craze of the eighteenth century. Thrilling experiments became forms of polite entertainment for ladies and gentlemen who enjoyed feeling sparks, shocks and attractions on their bodies. Popular lecturers designed demonstrations that were performed in darkened salons to increase the spectacle of the so-called electric fire. Not only did the action, the machinery and the ambience of such displays match the culture of the libertine century, it also provided new material for erotic literature.
Focusing on everyday life in 19th-century Britain and its imperial possessions--from preparing tea to cleaning the kitchen, from packing for imperial adventures to arranging home décor--the essays in this collection analyze the idiosyncratic and ideological contours of materiality, thus demonstrating how the use of nitty-gritty elements influenced the ways that tenets of domesticity were established as central to individual happiness, national security, and imperial hegemony.
The Golden Age of English Glass features 150 objects from the collection of John H. Bryan, ranging in date from c.1650-1809. These enable a full and detailed discussion of the history of English glassmaking during its critical period of innovation (c.1650-1675) and its world triumph (c.1700-1775), including discussions of crystal table glass, "black" glass bottles, window glass, mirrors and lighting (glass candlesticks and chandeliers). In spite of the fact that these pieces are among the most important examples of English glass known (the collection includes, for instance, twenty-five drinking glasses made between about 1690 and 1720, when English table glass is widely regarded as being among the most refined and perfect expression of the glassmakers' art anywhere in the world), few have ever been published.... Essays accompanying catalogue discussions of individual glasses place them in their wider historical and technical settings. The book is illustrated with some 215 colour photographs of the objects in the collection (including groups and details), some 75 comparative objects from other collections and 55 period prints, paintings, drawings and other documents that convey the historic context of their use and also document processes of manufacture and decoration.
Caricatured for extravagance, vanity, glamorous celebrity and, all too often, embroiled in scandal and gossip, 18th-century London's fashionable society had a well-deserved reputation for frivolity. But to be fashionable in 1700s London meant more than simply being well dressed. Fashion denoted membership of a new type of society--the beau monde, a world where status was no longer determined by coronets and countryseats alone but by the more nebulous qualification of metropolitan "fashion." Conspicuous consumption and display were crucial: the right address, the right dinner guests, the right possessions, the right jewels, the right seat at the opera. The Beau Monde leads us on a tour of this exciting new world, from court and parliament to London's parks, pleasure grounds, and private homes. From brash displays of diamond jewelry to the subtle complexities of political intrigue, we see how membership of the new elite was won, maintained--and sometimes lost. On the way, we meet a rich and colorful cast of characters, from the newly ennobled peer learning the ropes and the imposter trying to gain entry by means of clever fakery, to the exile banned for sexual indiscretion. Above all, as the story unfolds, we learn that being a Fashionable was about far more than simply being "modish." By the end of the century, it had become nothing less than the key to power and exclusivity in a changed world.
This collection thoroughly investigates the social and cultural impact of science in England during the Industrial Revolution. Each case study focuses on science in a local context, whether in the city or countryside, and examines the relationship between metropolitan and provincial science and savants.
In 1934, New York's Museum of Modern Art staged a major exhibition of ball bearings, airplane propellers, pots and pans, cocktail tumblers, petri dishes, protractors, and other machine parts and products. The exhibition, titled "Machine Art," explored these ordinary objects as works of modern art, teaching museumgoers about the nature of beauty and value in the era of mass production. Telling the story of this extraordinarily popular but controversial show, Jennifer Jane Marshall examines its history and the relationship between the museum's director, Alfred H. Barr Jr., and its curator, Philip Johnson, who oversaw it. She situates the show within the tumultuous climate of the interwar period and the Great Depression, considering how these unadorned objects served as a response to timely debates over photography, abstract art, the end of the American gold standard, and John Dewey's insight that how a person experiences things depends on the context in which they are encountered. An engaging investigation of interwar American modernism, Machine Art, 1934 reveals how even simple things can serve as a defense against uncertainty.
Transporting Visions follows pictures as they traveled through and over the swamps, forests, towns, oceans, and rivers of British America and the United States between 1760 and 1860. Taking seriously the complications involved in moving pictures through the physical world--the sheer bulk and weight of canvases, the delays inherent in long-distance reception, the perpetual threat to the stability and mnemonic capacity of images, the uneasy mingling of artworks with other kinds of things in transit--Jennifer L. Roberts forges a model for a material history of visual communication in early America. Focusing on paintings and prints by John Singleton Copley, John James Audubon, and Asher B. Durand--which were designed with mobility in mind--Roberts shows how an analysis of such imagery opens new perspectives on the most fundamental problems of early American commodity circulation, geographic expansion, and social cohesion.
The microscope's technical capabilities and uses expanded dramatically in the early 19th century, when it emerged as an important tool for medical education and played a key role in the development of the cell theory, among other advancements. Focusing on the decades surrounding this crucial period, Jutta Schickore weaves a fascinating story of microscopy by tracing the entwined history of the eye and the optical instrument. Concentrating on Great Britain and the German lands--home to the period's most significant developments in microscopy--The Microscope and the Eye examines debates about such subjects as the legitimacy of human trespassing on the microcosm and the nature of light. Schickore also explores the microscope's role in investigations of the finer structure of the eye and the workings of nerve fibers and the microscopists' reflections on vision, illusion, artifacts, and the merits of instruments....
Pioneered by William Hogarth (1697-1764) and his peers in the early 18th century, and then revitalized by Johan Zoffany (1733-1810), the conversation piece was an innovative mode of portraiture, depicting groups posed in landscape or domestic settings. These artists grappled with creating complex multi-figured compositions and intricate narratives, filling their paintings with representations of socially, nationally, and temporally precise customs. Paying particular attention to the vibrant (and at times fabricated) interior and exterior settings in these works, Kate Retford discusses the various ways that the conversation piece engaged with the rich material culture of Georgian Britain. The book also explores how these portraits served a wide array of interests and concerns among familial networks and larger social groups. From codifying performances of politeness to engaging in cross-cultural exchanges, the conversation piece was a complex and nuanced expression of a multifaceted society.
This work offers an account of the forms and functions of interior decoration in Parisian domestic architecture during the first half of the 18th century--the period generally known as the rococo. It charts the rapid and sometimes dramatic changes in both the style and the imagery of the art of that time, and explores the relationship between social status and the consumption and display of decoration in public and private interiors.
The third earl of Shaftesbury was a pivotal figure in 18th-century thought and culture. Professor Klein's new study is the first to examine the extensive Shaftesbury manuscripts and offer an interpretation that relates his ideas about philosophy, morals, religion and the arts to his social and political goals. Through politeness, Shaftesbury conceptualized a new kind of public and critical culture, and greatly influenced the philosophical and cultural models associated with the European Enlightenment.
England in the 18th century possessed a thriving portrait culture which was part of a network of visual communication that encompassed print-collecting, popular performance and figurative acts of speech.
In a broad-ranging and exceptional work of cultural and art history, Marcia Pointon explores what owning, wearing, distributing, and circulating gems and jewelry has meant in the post-Renaissance history of Europe. She examines the capacity of jewels not only to fascinate but also to create disorder and controversy throughout history and across cultures. Pointon argues that what is materially precious is invariably contentious.... Prodigiously rich in its range of reference and truly interdisciplinary in its approach, this book challenges the reader to reassess the importance of material things as powerful agents in human relations and in visual and verbal representation.
In antiquity portraiture was of major importance in the exercise of power. Today it remains not only a part of everyday life, but also a crucial way for artists to define themselves in relation to their environment and their contemporaries. In Portrayal and the Search for Identity, Marcia Pointon investigates how we view and understand portraiture as a genre and how portraits function as artworks within social and political networks. Likeness is never a straightforward matter, as we rarely have the subject of a portrait as a point of comparison.... Pointon invites readers to consider how identity is produced pictorially and where likeness is registered apart from in a face. In exploring these issues, she addresses wide-ranging problems such as the construction of masculinity in dress, representations of slaves, and self-portraiture in relation to mortality.
The 18th century has often been viewed as a period of relative decline in the field of microscopy, as interest in microscopes seemed to wane after an intense period of discovery in the 17th century. As such, developments in the field during the Enlightenment have been largely overlooked. This book therefore fills a considerable gap in the study of this life science, providing a thorough analysis of what the main concerns of the field were and how microscopists learned to communicate with each other in relevant ways in order to compare results and build a new discipline.... Investigating the history of microscopical research from 1680 up to 1800 also shows how scholars progressively established a modern rule on which to shape their new discipline: balancing microscopical magnification with shared vision. This rule developed in response to the diminishing size of the microscopical object during the course of the 18th century, from dry minute organisms such as insects, to aquatic minute bodies such as polyps, and finally to aquatic invisible organisms, thus completing the scholar's quest to study the invisible. This book will be essential reading for historians of microscopy, epistemologists, and for historians of the life sciences in the modern period.
The 18th-century painter Johan Zoffany (1733?-1810) was an astute observer of the many social circles in which he functioned as an artist over the course of his long career. This catalogue investigates his sharp wit, shrewd political appraisal, and perceptive social commentary (including subtle allusions to illicit relationships) all achieved while presenting his subjects as delightful and sophisticated members of polite society.
In The Mirror, the Window, and the Telescope, Samuel Y. Edgerton brings fresh insight to a subject of perennial interest to the history of art and science in the West: the birth of linear perspective. Edgerton retells the fascinating story of how perspective emerged in early 15th-century Florence, growing out of an artistic and religious context in which devout Christians longed for divine presence in their daily lives. And yet, ironically, its discovery would have a profound effect not only on the history of art but on the history of science and technology, ultimately undermining the very medieval Christian cosmic view that gave rise to it in the first place.... Building on the knowledge he has accumulated over his distinguished career, Edgerton has written the definitive, up-to-date work on linear perspective, showing how this simple artistic tool did indeed change our present vision of the universe.
It would be easy to assume that, in the 18th century, slavery and the culture of taste--the world of politeness, manners, and aesthetics--existed as separate and unequal domains, unrelated in the spheres of social life. But to the contrary, Slavery and the Culture of Taste demonstrates that these two areas of modernity were surprisingly entwined. Ranging across Britain, the antebellum South, and the West Indies, and examining vast archives, including portraits, period paintings, personal narratives, and diaries, Simon Gikandi illustrates how the violence and ugliness of enslavement actually shaped theories of taste, notions of beauty, and practices of high culture, and how slavery's impurity informed and haunted the rarified customs of the time.... Through a close look at the eighteenth century's many remarkable documents and artworks, Slavery and the Culture of Taste sets forth the tensions and contradictions entangling a brutal practice and the distinctions of civility.
English colonial expansion in the Caribbean was more than a matter of migration and trade. It was also a source of social and cultural change within England. Finding evidence of cultural exchange between England and the Caribbean as early as the 17th century, Susan Dwyer Amussen uncovers the learned practice of slaveholding.... Concentrating on Barbados and Jamaica, England's two most important colonies, Amussen looks at cultural exports that affected the development of race, gender, labor, and class as categories of legal and social identity in England. Concepts of law and punishment in the Caribbean provided a model for expanded definitions of crime in England; the organization of sugar factories served as a model for early industrialization; and the construction of the "white woman" in the Caribbean contributed to changing notions of "ladyhood" in England. As Amussen demonstrates, the cultural changes necessary for settling the Caribbean became an important, though uncounted, colonial export.
In this richly illustrated study, the first book-length exploration of illusionistic art in the early United States, Wendy Bellion investigates Americans' experiences with material forms of visual deception and argues that encounters with illusory art shaped their understanding of knowledge, representation, and subjectivity between 1790 and 1825. Focusing on the work of the well-known Peale family and their Philadelphia Museum, as well as other Philadelphians, Bellion explores the range of illusions encountered in public spaces, from trompe l'oeil paintings and drawings at art exhibitions to ephemeral displays of phantasmagoria, "Invisible Ladies," and other spectacles of deception. Bellion reconstructs the elite and vernacular sites where such art and objects appeared and argues that early national exhibitions doubled as spaces of citizen formation. Within a post-Revolutionary culture troubled by the social and political consequences of deception, keen perception signified able citizenship. Setting illusions into dialogue with Enlightenment cultures of science, print, politics, and the senses, Citizen Spectator demonstrates that pictorial and optical illusions functioned to cultivate but also to confound discernment....
Drawing on up-to-date research, this volume in The New Oxford History of England is the most authoritative and comprehensive general history of England between the accession of George II and the loss of the American colonies. Delving beneath the surface serenity of the age of elegance, Paul Langford reveals a world of simmering discontent in which evangelical enthusiasm clashed with scientific rationalism, aristocratic government with popular insubordination, industrial and imperial expansion with plebian poverty, and sentimentality with utilitarian reform.
The term "macaroni" was once as familiar a label as "punk" or "hipster" is today. In this handsomely illustrated book devoted to notable 18th-century British male fashion, award-winning author and fashion historian Peter McNeil brings together dress, biography, and historical events with the broader visual and material culture of the late 18th century. For thirty years, macaroni was a highly topical word, yielding a complex set of social, sexual, and cultural associations. Pretty Gentlemen is grounded in surviving dress, archival documents, and art spanning hierarchies and genres, from scurrilous caricature to respectful portrait painting.
What did it mean, Rebecca K. Shrum asks, for people--long-accustomed to associating reflective surfaces with ritual and magic--to became as familiar with how they looked as they were with the appearance of other people? Fragmentary histories tantalize us with how early Americans--people of Native, European, and African descent--interacted with mirrors. Shrum argues that mirrors became objects through which white men asserted their claims to modernity, emphasizing mirrors as fulcrums of truth that enabled them to know and master themselves and their world. In claiming that mirrors revealed and substantiated their own enlightenment and rationality, white men sought to differentiate how they used mirrors from not only white women but also from Native Americans and African Americans, who had long claimed ownership of and the right to determine the meaning of mirrors for themselves. Mirrors thus played an important role in the construction of early American racial and gender hierarchies.
A portrait of 18th century England, from its princes to its paupers, from its metropolis to its smallest hamlet. The topics covered include - diet, housing, prisons, rural festivals, bordellos, plays, paintings, and work and wages.
Leviathan and the Air-Pump examines the conflicts over the value and propriety of experimental methods between two major 17th-century thinkers: Thomas Hobbes, author of the political treatise Leviathan and vehement critic of systematic experimentation in natural philosophy, and Robert Boyle, mechanical philosopher and owner of the newly invented air-pump. The issues at stake in their disputes ranged from the physical integrity of the air-pump to the intellectual integrity of the knowledge it might yield. Both Boyle and Hobbes were looking for ways of establishing knowledge that did not decay into ad hominem attacks and political division. Boyle proposed the experiment as cure. He argued that facts should be manufactured by machines like the air-pump so that gentlemen could witness the experiments and produce knowledge that everyone agreed on. Hobbes, by contrast, looked for natural law and viewed experiments as the artificial, unreliable products of an exclusive guild.... Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer use the confrontation between Hobbes and Boyle as a way of understanding what was at stake in the early history of scientific experimentation. They describe the protagonists' divergent views of natural knowledge, and situate the Hobbes-Boyle disputes within contemporary debates over the role of intellectuals in public life and the problems of social order and assent in Restoration England. In a new introduction, the authors describe how science and its social context were understood when this book was first published, and how the study of the history of science has changed since then.
Additional Reading on 18th-Century Social Life in Britain
Caricature Unmasked by Amelia F. Rauser
Publication Date: 2008
Book Jacket: This book is the first to examine the meaning encoded in the very form of caricature, and to explain its rise as a consequence of the emergence of modernity, especially the modern self.
A Concise History of the Caribbean presents a general history of the Caribbean islands from the beginning of human settlement about seven thousand years ago to the present. It narrates processes of early human migration, the disastrous consequences of European colonization, the development of slavery and the slave trade, the extraordinary profits earned by the plantation economy, the great revolution in Haiti, movements toward political independence, the Cuban Revolution, and the diaspora of Caribbean people.
In this volume, scholars from various disciplines show how physical objects can expand our comprehension of how people lived, worked, and thought during the colonial and early national periods. Inspired by the "material turn" that introduced the legibility of objects across humanities disciplines, the essays in this collection show how "reading" material objects from sites such as Monticello, Salem, and the Connecticut River Valley brings to light significant dimensions of social experience and cultural practices that are not visible in the written record of early America. Reading objects for evidence of the lives and values of the individuals and groups that imagined, fabricated, bought, and used them, the contributors examine the migration of items such as chairs, fashionable dressing tables, portraits, and even natural relics. In doing so, they uncover complex economic, ethical, and mnemonic issues; investigate the political life of seemingly unpolitical things such as a rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts; and consider the environmental riches and extraction industries behind early American prosperity and ingenuity.
August 2019 saw numerous commemorations of the year 1619, when what was said to be the first arrival of enslaved Africans occurred in North America. Yet in the 1520s, the Spanish, from their imperial perch in Santo Domingo, had already brought enslaved Africans to what was to become South Carolina. The enslaved people here quickly defected to local Indigenous populations, and compelled their captors to flee. Deploying such illuminating research, The Dawning of the Apocalypse is a riveting revision of the "creation myth" of settler colonialism and how the United States was formed. Here, Gerald Horne argues forcefully that, in order to understand the arrival of colonists from the British Isles in the early 17th century, one must first understand the "long 16th century"- from 1492 until the arrival of settlers in Virginia in 1607.
Reconstructing the transatlantic slave trade from an extensive archive of new research, Walvin seeks to understand and describe how the trade began in Africa, the terrible ordeals experienced there by people sold into slavery, and the scars that remain on the continent today. Journeying across the ocean, he shows how Brazilian slavery was central to the development of the slave trade itself, as that country tested techniques and methods for trading and slavery that were successfully exported to the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas in the following centuries. Walvin also reveals the answers to vital questions that have never before been addressed, such as how a system that the Western world came to despise endured so long and how the British--who were fundamental in developing and perfecting the slave trade--became the most prominent proponents of its eradication. The most authoritative history of the entire slave trade to date, Crossings offers a new understanding of one of the most important, and tragic, episodes in world history.
The Savage and Modern Self examines the representations of North American "Indians" in novels, poetry, plays, and material culture from eighteenth-century Britain. Author Robbie Richardson argues that depictions of "Indians" in British literature were used to critique and articulate evolving ideas about consumerism, colonialism, "Britishness," and, ultimately, the "modern self" over the course of the century. Considering the ways in which British writers represented contact between Britons and "Indians," both at home and abroad, the author shows how these sites of contact moved from a self-affirmation of British authority earlier in the century, to a mutual corruption, to a desire to appropriate perceived traits of "Indianess."
The Making of New World Slavery argues that independent commerce, geared to burgeoning consumer markets, was the driving force behind the rise of plantation slavery. The baroque state sought successfully to feed upon this commerce and with markedly less success to regulate slavery and racial relations. To illustrate this thesis, Blackburn examines the deployment of slaves in the colonial possessions of the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the English and the French. Plantation slavery is shown to have emerged from the impulses of civil society, not from the strategies of individual states. Robin Blackburn argues that the organization of slave plantations placed the West on a destructive path to modernity and that greatly preferable alternatives were both proposed and rejected. Finally, he shows that the surge of Atlantic trade, predicated on the murderous toil of the plantations, made a decisive contribution to both the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the West.
The intertwining of our clothes and our Constitution raise fundamental questions of hierarchy, sexuality, and democracy. From our hairstyles to our shoes, constitutional considerations both constrain and confirm our daily choices. In turn, our attire and appearance provide multilayered perspectives on the United States Constitution and its interpretations. Our garments often raise First Amendment issues of expression or religion, but they also prompt questions of equality on the basis of gender, race, and sexuality. At work, in court, in schools, in prisons, and on the streets, our clothes and grooming provoke constitutional controversies. Additionally, the production, trade, and consumption of apparel implicates constitutional concerns including colonial sumptuary laws, slavery, wage and hour laws, and current notions of free trade.... From a noted constitutional scholar and commentator, this book examines the rights to expression and equality, as well as the restraints on government power, as they both limit and allow control of our most personal choices of attire and grooming.
This bold, innovative book promises to radically alter our understanding of the Atlantic slave trade, and the depths of its horrors. Stephanie E. Smallwood offers a penetrating look at the process of enslavement from its African origins through the Middle Passage and into the American slave market. Smallwood's story is animated by deep research and gives us a startlingly graphic experience of the slave trade from the vantage point of the slaves themselves. Ultimately, Saltwater Slavery details how African people were transformed into Atlantic commodities in the process.