Spectacle, Sex, and Property in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Edited by
Julie A. Chappell and Kamille Stone Stanton

With an Afterword by
Kirsten T. Saxton

LC 2013008607

ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64872-5

ISBN-13: 978-0-404-67003-0

AMS Studies in the Eighteenth Century, No. 72

Spectacle, Sex, and Property in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture operates within a multiplicity of critical frameworks in order to uproot and follow strands of historical and cultural meaning in literature. The result brings together readings of tried and untried primary texts for a collection of cultural explications and historical positionings that seek to move us beyond both the weariness of worn critical paths and the elation of initial text recovery.

The essays in Part I examine the ways in which domestic, utopian, and theatrical spaces are negotiated both inside and outside of the text. Part II focuses on gender construction and sexuality in literature, particularly the ways in which gender helps and hinders the negotiation of personal agency and the projection of an individual voice or identity. The final section of essays explores the ownership and exchange of spectacle, sex, and property in diverse material and human forms. As Kirsten Saxton remarks in her afterword to this collection, “As a whole, the volume posits an overarching refusal of aesthetic or cultural or generic boundaries as fixed or ‘natural’ while the individual essays simultaneously attend to the very real consequences of such boundaries, however imaginative their limits.”


Introductory Essay

Part I: Domestic, Utopian and Theatrical Spaces
Elizabeth Bobo, “Spectator Advertising, Popular London Theater, and Paradise Lost as English Cultural Identity”
Aleksondra Hultquist, “Absent Children and the Emergence of Female Subjectivity in Eliza Haywood’s The British Recluse (1722) and The City Jilt (1726)”
Michelle L. Parslow, “‘My way of thinking’: Sarah Scott’s Utopian Architecture of the Body”

Part II: Gendered Agency, Spectacle and Subjectivity
Julie A. Chappell, “The Real and the Imagined in The Book of Margery Kempe and Moll Flanders”
Sonya Lawson Parrish, “‘Obtain but Their Consent’: Agency and Female Speech in Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess (1719)”
Daniel P. Richards, “The (Re)Naturalization of Margaret Cavendish: Making Active the Relationship between Nature and Female Subjectivity in Blazing World ”
Jennifer Sarha, “Sodomy as Erotic Spectacle in John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1748-49)”
Brian D. Reed, “Stabilizing Reason with Sensibility: Boswell and Johnson’s Pursuit of a Genuine Definition of Masculinity ”

Part III: Earthly, Material, and Human Property and Its Consumption
Kaley A. Kramer, “Property, Loss, and Mourning in Sophia Lee’s The Recess (1783)”
Sara D. Schotland, “The Slave’s Revenge: The Terror in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya (1806)”
Amanda L. Capern, “Adultery and Impotence as Literary Spectacle in the Divorce Debates and Tracts of the Long Eighteenth Century”
Judith Rose, “‘Thy Servants, whom thou callst thy Slaves’: Exploring Alice Curwen’s Transatlantic Anti-Slavery Testimony’”
Kathleen E. Urda, “Consuming and Consumed: Society and The Commercial Gaze in William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (1735)”


Category: Annuals