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This book seeks to challenge the notion of the supremacy of the brain as the key organ of the Enlightenment. It is done by focusing on the workings of the bowels and viscera that so obsessed writers and thinkers during the long eighteenth-century. These inner organs and the digestive process acted as counterpoints to politeness and other modes of refined sociability, drawing attention to the deeper workings of the self. The book complicates the idea that discourses and representations of digestion and bowels are confined to so-called consumption culture of the long eighteenth century, in which dysfunctional bowels are categorised as a symptom of excess. It offers an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective on entrails and digestion by addressing urban history, visual studies, literature, medical history, religious history, and material culture in England, France, and Germany. The book explores the metaphorical and symbolic connections between the entrails of the body and the bowels of the city or the labyrinthine tunnels of the mine. It then illustrates the materiality of digestion by focusing on its by-products and their satirical or epistemological manifestations. The book expounds further on the burlesque motif of the innards as it is used to subvert areas of more serious knowledge, from medical treatises to epic literature or visual representation. Finally, it focuses on drawings, engravings and caricatures which used the bowels, viscera and entrails to articulate political protest, Revolutionary tensions and subversion through scatological aesthetics, or to expose those invisible organs.

Between the ancients and the moderns

This book offers a full account of the role played by seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English Republican ideas in eighteenth-century France. Challenging some of the dominant accounts of the Republican tradition, it revises conventional understandings of what Republicanism meant in both Britain and France during the eighteenth century, offering a distinctive trajectory as regards ancient and modern constructions and highlighting variety rather than homogeneity within the tradition. The book thus offers a new perspective on both the legacy of the English Republican tradition and the origins and thought of the French Revolution. It centres around a series of case studies that focus on a number of colourful and influential characters including John Toland, Viscount Bolingbroke, John Wilkes, and the Comte de Mirabeau.

This book explores the appropriation of science in French society and the development of an urban scientific culture. Science underwent a process of commodification and popularization during the eighteenth century as more and more individuals sought to acquire some knowledge of scientific activities and as more and more people entered public debates on science. Popular science took many forms in the eighteenth century. While books, periodicals, universities, and academies all provided a breadth of scientific popularization at different levels and for different audiences, this book focuses on popular science within urban culture more generally. More than ever before, public lectures and demonstrations, clubs, and other activities arose in the eighteenth century as new opportunities for the general population to gain access to and appropriate science. These arenas for popular science were not restricted to people of a certain education. In fact, popular science, and public lecture courses in particular, was often set at a level that could be understood by pretty much anyone. This was a bone of contention between popularizers and their critics who felt that in some cases popular science lacked any sort of real scientific content. In reality, some popularizers had specific theoretical content in mind for their courses while others were admittedly more interested in theatrics. Identifying the audience, cost, and location of popular science helps reveal its place in urban culture. The book looks at the audience, identified through advertisements and course descriptions, as well as the economics of courses.

The readers’ digest

6  Eighteenth-century paper: the readers’ digest Amélie Junqua Paper circulates from hand to hand, from one social group to another. This passive surface is touched by skins, pens and wares,  absorbing ink, dirt and body waste. Fashioned by a long manufacturing process, it is read, consumed – in either case, metaphorically digested – and then excreted, cast away to be recycled or destroyed. I well remember that some of [my particles] were twisted up with a half-pennyworth of tobacco for a night-man, others soaked in brandy, and plaistered over the black eye of

in Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century

This volume of twelve essays, preceded by an introduction that succinctly frames the problematic and history of the notion of the ‘self’, examines the various ways the ‘self’ was perceived, fashioned and written in the course of the long eighteenth century in Great Britain. It highlights, in particular, the interface between literature and philosophy. The chapters include discussion of philosophers such as Locke, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Hume, Hutcheson and Smith, churchmen such as Isaac Barrow and John Tillotson, the novelists Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson and Laurence Sterne, the poets Anne Killigrew, Alexander Pope, William Blake and William Wordsworth, the writers and sometime diarists Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, and the radical writer Sampson Perry.

The originality of the studies lies in their focus on the varied ways of seeing and saying the self, and what Locke called personal identity. They foreground the advent of a recognisably modern, individualistic and ‘sustainable’ self, which, still today, remains plural and enigmatic. The book should appeal to a wide public, both undergraduate and graduate students working in Literature and the Humanities, in particular those interested in the Enlightenment period, as well as researchers and the general public interested in questions related to identity and consciousness and their formulation in the past and present.

The volume follows a chronological narrative which surveys the intriguing and protean nature of the ‘self’ from varied perspectives and as expressed in different genres. It assembles contributions from both confirmed and young researchers from Britain, Europe and the United States.

3  Digesting in the long eighteenth century Ian Miller Roy Porter once described the stomach as a historically ambiguous organ; one awarded great significance in the bodily economy while subject at the same time to condemnation as a source of pathology, illness and degradation.1 This essay unravels these ambiguities. Historically, the workings of the human stomach and digestive system were mysterious. Hidden inaccessibly within the body, the living human stomach remained unseen and virtually unknowable until the nineteenth century. Eighteenth-century

in Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century

5  The death of Cordelia and the economics of preference in eighteenth-century moral psychology William Flesch Biology recapitulates economics: at least evolutionary biology seems to be rediscovering and analysing the same kinds of ideas that the great eighteenth-century economic psychologists (from Mandeville to Hume to Smith) had explored. Over the last few years there has been a heated debate among evolutionary theorists – scientists, mathematicians, the odd humanist – about whether altruism is possible, given the core idea that evolution is driven by the

in Writing and constructing the self in Great Britain in the long eighteenth century

1 The eighteenth-century knowledge economy E urope was becoming an information-rich society in the eighteenth century and educated Europeans were increasingly conscious of the fact. James Keir, a West Midlands factory owner and chemist, underlined as much in an oft-quoted remark penned towards the century’s end: ‘the diffusion of general knowledge, and of a taste for science, over all classes of men, in every nation of Europe, or of European origin, seems to be the characteristic feature of the present age’.1 Whether the consumption of knowledge was quite as

in Industrial Enlightenment

Just as Scotland experienced great challenges and stresses in the second half of the eighteenth century so too did the West Indies. The most profound disjunctions lay between the free white residents and the communities of enslaved blacks and free people of colour. For Europeans, this manifested itself in the maintenance of a colour bar that determined the rights that were enjoyed

in Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic world 1750–1820

During the eighteenth century, Scotland experienced a series of profound economic, social, cultural and political changes. Industry and agriculture were transformed, moving Scotland from a relative economic backwater (in European terms) to a country that witnessed innovations in agricultural and industrial production able to rival those anywhere on the globe. Fostered by

in Scotland, the Caribbean and the Atlantic world 1750–1820