Gothic economics: gothic literature and commercial society in Britain, 1750–1850

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dc.contributor.author Winter, Caroline
dc.date.accessioned 2021-01-07T06:33:14Z
dc.date.copyright 2020 en_US
dc.date.issued 2021-01-06
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/12524
dc.description.abstract Although the sensational world of Gothic literature may seem to have little to do with the “dismal science” of economics, readers and critics have long recognized connections between Romantic-era political economic discourse and Gothic novels, from the trope of the haunted castle on contested property to Adam Smith’s metaphor of the spectral “invisible hand.” This study, the first sustained investigation of economics and the Gothic, reads Romantic Gothic literature as an important voice in public debates about the economic ideas that shaped the emerging phenomenon of commercial society. Drawing on Charles Taylor’s notion of the modern social imaginary, it argues that the ways in which Gothic literature interrogated these ideas continues to inform our understanding of the economy and our place within it today. Each chapter focuses on an economic idea, including property, coverture, credit, debt, and consumption, in relation to a selection of representative Gothic texts, from Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1848). It analyzes these texts—primarily novels, but also short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—in the context of political economic writings by Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and others. Through this analysis, this study argues that economic ideas are foundational to the Gothic, a mode of literature deeply engaged with the political, cultural, social, and economic upheavals that characterize the Romantic Age. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject British literature en_US
dc.subject English literature en_US
dc.subject Romantic literature en_US
dc.subject Gothic literature en_US
dc.subject political economy en_US
dc.title Gothic economics: gothic literature and commercial society in Britain, 1750–1850 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Miles, Robert
dc.degree.department Department of English en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.embargo 2021-05-14

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