Come Buy, Come Buy : Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women's Writing

By: Lysack, KristaMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: Athens, OH : Ohio University Press, 2008Edition: 1Description: 1 online resource (249 p.)ISBN: 9780821442920Subject(s): Consumption (Economics) -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century | Consumption (Economics) in literature | English literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism | English literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism | Femininity in literature | Identity (Psychology) in literature | Shopping -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century | Shopping in literature | Women consumers -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century | Women consumers in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Come Buy, Come Buy : Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women’s WritingDDC classification: 820.9/3553 LOC classification: PR468 .C68Online resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
COME BUY, COME BUY; CONTENTS; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; Introduction; 1. GOBLIN MARKETS; 2. LADY AUDLEY'SSHOPPING DISORDERS; 3. MIDDLEMARCH AND THEEXTRAVAGANT DOMESTICSPENDER; 4. TO THOSE WHOLOVE THEM BEST; 5. VOTES FOR WOMEN AND THETACTICS OF CONSUMPTION; Afterword; NOTES; BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEX
Summary: From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption. Come Buy, Come Buy considers representations of the female shopper in British women's writing and demonstrates how women's shopping practices are materialized as forms of narrative, poetic, and cultural inscription, showing how women writers emphasize consumerism as productive of pleasure rather than the condition of seduction or loss. Krista Lysack examines works by Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, and Michael Field, as well as the suffragette newspaper Votes for Women, in order to challenge the dominant construction of Victorian femininity as characterized by self-renunciation and the regulation of appetite. Come Buy, Come Buy considers not only literary works, but also a variety of archival sources (shopping guides, women's fashion magazines, household management guides, newspapers, and advertisements) and cultural practices (department store shopping, shoplifting and kleptomania, domestic economy, and suffragette shopkeeping). With this wealth of sources, Lysack traces a genealogy of the woman shopper from dissident domestic spender to aesthetic connoisseur, from curious shop-gazer to political radical.
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Description based upon print version of record.

COME BUY, COME BUY; CONTENTS; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; Introduction; 1. GOBLIN MARKETS; 2. LADY AUDLEY'SSHOPPING DISORDERS; 3. MIDDLEMARCH AND THEEXTRAVAGANT DOMESTICSPENDER; 4. TO THOSE WHOLOVE THEM BEST; 5. VOTES FOR WOMEN AND THETACTICS OF CONSUMPTION; Afterword; NOTES; BIBLIOGRAPHY; INDEX

From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption. Come Buy, Come Buy considers representations of the female shopper in British women's writing and demonstrates how women's shopping practices are materialized as forms of narrative, poetic, and cultural inscription, showing how women writers emphasize consumerism as productive of pleasure rather than the condition of seduction or loss. Krista Lysack examines works by Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, and Michael Field, as well as the suffragette newspaper Votes for Women, in order to challenge the dominant construction of Victorian femininity as characterized by self-renunciation and the regulation of appetite. Come Buy, Come Buy considers not only literary works, but also a variety of archival sources (shopping guides, women's fashion magazines, household management guides, newspapers, and advertisements) and cultural practices (department store shopping, shoplifting and kleptomania, domestic economy, and suffragette shopkeeping). With this wealth of sources, Lysack traces a genealogy of the woman shopper from dissident domestic spender to aesthetic connoisseur, from curious shop-gazer to political radical.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Lysack (Univ. of Western Ontario) wishes to rehabilitate Victorian women's consumption as a productive, even disruptive activity that generates women as subjects rather than objects. Drawing on the work of Michel de Certeau, the author traces the workings of consumption in poetry, fiction, and journalism, devoting a chapter apiece to Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market," Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret, George Eliot's Middlemarch, Sight and Song by the pseudonymous Michael Field, and the Women's Social and Political Union's monthly periodical Votes for Women. In "Goblin Market," the author contends, Laura and Lizzie manage to resist capitalism's siren song by turning the commodified fruit to their own ends. More provocatively, Lysack suggests that Middlemarch's apparent opposites, Dorothea and Rosamond, actually share the same tactic of "credit and risk" management to achieve their ultimate goals. In the final and most successful chapter, Lysack shows how the suffragettes turned capitalist marketing practices and products--salesmanship, advertising, and political tchotchkes (like games and buttons)--into vehicles for radical political activism. The book seems undercooked in places, especially in chapters on Rossetti and Michael Field, where some steps of the argument seem to be missing. Summing Up: Recommended. With reservations. Graduate students and researchers. M. E. Burstein SUNY College at Brockport

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