Reverence for J. S. Bach's music and its towering presence in our cultural memory have long affected how people hear his works. In his own time, however, Bach stood as just another figure among a number of composers, many of them more popular with the music-loving public. Eschewing the great composer style of music history, Andrew Talle takes us on a journey that looks at how ordinary people made music in Bach's Germany. Talle focuses in particular on the culture of keyboard playing as lived in public and private. As he ranges through a wealth of documents, instruments, diaries, account ledgers, and works of art, Talle brings a fascinating cast of characters to life. These individuals--amateur and professional performers, patrons, instrument builders, and listeners--inhabited a lost world, and Talle's deft expertise teases out the diverse roles music played in their lives and in their relationships with one another. At the same time, his nuanced recreation of keyboard playing's social milieu illuminates the era's reception of Bach's immortal works.
First published in 1711, Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century describes the four major economic activities of the Brazilian colony. Half the book is devoted to the sugar industry and the social world of those who grew the sugarcane. Other sections give a detailed view of the tobacco industry. Further, this work describes where and how gold was extracted, the new and old routes connecting Minas Gerais with the coast, and the rough-and-tumble world of the miners. Antonil concludes with discussion of the economic importance of cattle, and information on Brazilian exports and taxes. No other work provides this level of eyewitness detail.
"Based on subtle, imaginative readings of autobiographies, memoirs, fiction and secondary sources, [Campus Life] tells the story of the changing mentalities of American undergraduates over two centuries."—Michael Moffatt, New York Times Book Review
French-Indigenous families were a central force in shaping Detroit’s history. Detroit’s Hidden Channels: The Power of French-Indigenous Families in the Eighteenth Century examines the role of these kinship networks in Detroit’s development as a site of singular political and economic importance in the continental interior. Situated where Anishinaabe, Wendat, Myaamia, and later French communities were established and where the system of waterways linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico narrowed, Detroit’s location was its primary attribute. While the French state viewed Detroit as a decaying site of illegal activities, the influence of the French-Indigenous networks grew as members diverted imperial resources to bolster an alternative configuration of power relations that crossed Indigenous and Euro-American nations. Women furthered commerce by navigating a multitude of gender norms of their nations, allowing them to defy the state that sought to control them by holding them to European ideals of womanhood. By the mid-eighteenth century, French-Indigenous families had become so powerful, incoming British traders and imperial officials courted their favor. These families would maintain that power as the British imperial presence splintered on the eve of the American Revolution.
Eurafricans in Western Africa traces the rich social and commercial history of western Africa. The most comprehensive study to date, it begins prior to the sixteenth century when huge profits made by middlemen on trade in North African slaves, salt, gold, pepper, and numerous other commodities prompted Portuguese reconnaissance voyages along the coast of western Africa. From Senegal to Sierra Leone, Portuguese, including “New Christians” who reverted to Judaism while living in western Africa, thrived where riverine and caravan networks linked many African groups.
Portuguese and their Luso-African descendants contended with French, Dutch, and English rivals for trade in gold, ivory, slaves, cotton textiles, iron bars, cowhides, and other African products. As the Atlantic slave trade increased, French and Franco-Africans and English and Anglo-Africans supplanted Portuguese and Luso-Africans in many African places of trade.
Eurafricans in Western Africa follows the changes that took root in the eighteenth century when French and British colonial officials introduced European legal codes, and concludes with the onset of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, when suppression of the slave trade and expanding commerce in forest and agricultural commodities again transformed circumstances in western Africa.
Professor George E. Brooks’s outstanding history of these vital aspects of western Africa is enriched by his discussion of the roles of the women who married or cohabited with European traders. Through accounts of incidents and personal histories, which are integrated into the narrative, the lives of these women and their children are accorded a prominent place in Professor Brooks’s fascinating discussion of this dynamic region of Africa.
Modern Russian literature has two “first” epochs: secular literature’s rapid rise in the eighteenth century and Alexander Pushkin’s Golden Age in the early nineteenth. In the shadow of the latter, Russia’s eighteenth-century culture was relegated to an obscurity hardly befitting its actually radical legacy. And yet the eighteenth century maintains an undeniable hold on the Russian historical imagination to this day. Luba Golburt’s book is the first to document this paradox. In formulating its self-image, the culture of the Pushkin era and after wrestled far more with the meaning of the eighteenth century, Golburt argues, than is commonly appreciated.
Why did nineteenth-century Russians put the eighteenth century so quickly behind them? How does a meaningful present become a seemingly meaningless past? Interpreting texts by Lomonosov, Derzhavin, Pushkin, Viazemsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and others, Golburt finds surprising answers, in the process innovatively analyzing the rise of periodization and epochal consciousness, the formation of canon, and the writing of literary history.
Winner, Marc Raeff Book Prize, Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association
Winner, Heldt Prize for the Best Book by a Woman in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies, Association for Women in Slavic Studies
Winner, Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages
Remarkable for its scope and erudition, Jorge Arditi's new study offers a fascinating history of mores from the High Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. Drawing on the pioneering ideas of Norbert Elias, Michel Foucault, and Pierre Bourdieu, Arditi examines the relationship between power and social practices and traces how power changes over time.
Analyzing courtesy manuals and etiquette books from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century, Arditi shows how the dominant classes of a society were able to create a system of social relations and put it into operation. The result was an infrastructure in which these classes could successfully exert power. He explores how the ecclesiastical authorities of the Middle Ages, the monarchies from the fifteenth through the seventeenth century, and the aristocracies during the early stages of modernity all forged their own codes of manners within the confines of another, dominant order. Arditi goes on to describe how each of these different groups, through the sustained deployment of their own forms of relating with one another, gradually moved into a position of dominance.
A Great and Monstrous Thing offers a street-level view of eighteenth-century London, a city of grandeur and glitter, squalor and poverty, risen from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed half its homes and great public buildings. What emerges is a society fractured by geography, politics, religion, history—and especially by class.
Why is the world orderly, and how does this order come to be? Human beings inhabit a multitude of apparently ordered systems—natural, social, political, economic, cognitive, and others—whose origins and purposes are often obscure. In the eighteenth century, older certainties about such orders, rooted in either divine providence or the mechanical operations of nature, began to fall away. In their place arose a new appreciation for the complexity of things, a new recognition of the world’s disorder and randomness, new doubts about simple relations of cause and effect—but with them also a new ability to imagine the world’s orders, whether natural or manmade, as self-organizing. If large systems are left to their own devices, eighteenth-century Europeans increasingly came to believe, order will emerge on its own without any need for external design or direction.
In Invisible Hands, Jonathan Sheehan and Dror Wahrman trace the many appearances of the language of self-organization in the eighteenth-century West. Across an array of domains, including religion, society, philosophy, science, politics, economy, and law, they show how and why this way of thinking came into the public view, then grew in prominence and arrived at the threshold of the nineteenth century in versatile, multifarious, and often surprising forms. Offering a new synthesis of intellectual and cultural developments, Invisible Hands is a landmark contribution to the history of the Enlightenment and eighteenth-century culture.
Research reveals a clear connection between the legal and social status of the Jews in Palestine in the 18th century and their ties with the Diaspora. The Jews who had immigrated to Palestine in that period were mostly poor and elderly. The country was economically backward and politically unstable, which made it impossible for the immigrants to support themselves through productive work. Therefore they lived off the contributions of their brethren overseas. Taxes and fees imposed by the Ottoman rulers increased the financial desperation of the Jews in Palestine. Prohibitions against young unmarried immigrant men and women made for an unstable population largely of old men, many of whom died shortly after immigrating. Families succumbed to disease, earthquakes, and famine, but in the face of these problems, the Jewish communities in Palestine persevered.
When financial support ceased at the beginning of the 18th century, it caused a sever crisis in the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in Palestine). The Jews were unable to repay their debts to the Moslems, and many left the country. In 1726, a central organization was established in Istanbul to coordinate the Diaspora financial support of the Jews in Palestine. This Istanbul Committee of Officials oversaw the collection of support money for the Yishuv, managed the Palestine community’s budget, established regulations for governing the communities, and settled disputes between the Jews and the gentiles. The importance of the Yishuv in the spiritual life of the Diaspora alone could not ensure the continuation of the Istanbul Officials was crucial.
Fortunately, a registry containing copies of 500 letters written by the Istanbul Committee in the mid-18th century was preserved in the archives of the Jewish Theological Seminary. These letters reveal the extensive activity involving the Istanbul Committee and the Ottoman authorities, the Jews of Palestine, and the Diaspora.
In this English translation of the original 1982 volume published in Hebrew, Barnai has updated his research to take into account recent scholarship. He concludes that during the period under review, the number of Jews in the Yishuv was actually very small, but they were completely dependent upon the charitable financial support of their brethren overseas, as well as the goodwill of the country’s rulers.
Accounts of women's transgressive behavior in eighteenth-century literature and social documents have much to teach us about constructions of femininity during the period often identified as having formed our society's gender norms. Lewd and Notorious explores the eighteenth century's shadows, inhabited by marginal women of many kinds and degrees of contrariness. The reader meets Laetitia Pilkington, whose sexual indiscretions caused her to fall from social and literary grace to become an articulate memoirist of personal scandal, and Elizabeth Brownrigg, who tortured and starved her young servants, propelling herself to an infamy comparable to Susan Smith's or Myra Hindley's. More awful women wait between these covers to teach us about society's reception (and construction) of their debauchery and dangerousness.
The authors draw upon a rich range of contemporary texts to illuminate the lives of these women. Astute analysis of literary, legal, evangelical, epistolary, and political documents provides an understanding of 1700s womanhood. From lusty old maids to murderous mistresses, the characters who exemplify this period's vision of women on the edge are essential acquaintances for anyone wishing to understand the development and ramifications of conceptions of femininity.
Virginia Woolf once commented that the central image in Robinson Crusoe is an object—a large earthenware pot. Woolf and other critics pointed out that early modern prose is full of things but bare of setting and description. Explaining how the empty, unvisualized spaces of such writings were transformed into the elaborate landscapes and richly upholstered interiors of the Victorian novel, Cynthia Sundberg Wall argues that the shift involved not just literary representation but an evolution in cultural perception.
In The Prose of Things, Wall analyzes literary works in the contexts of natural science, consumer culture, and philosophical change to show how and why the perception and representation of space in the eighteenth-century novel and other prose narratives became so textually visible. Wall examines maps, scientific publications, country house guides, and auction catalogs to highlight the thickening descriptions of domestic interiors. Considering the prose works of John Bunyan, Samuel Pepys, Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, David Hume, Ann Radcliffe, and Sir Walter Scott, The Prose of Things is the first full account of the historic shift in the art of describing.
After the discovery of the ergotism epidemics (poisoning caused by ingesting the fungal toxin of rye) and its etiology, eighteenth-century physicians interpreted medieval chronicles in their medical texts in order to recognize the occurrences of ergotic diseases through retrospective diagnosis. They assumed that St. Anthony's fire and ignis sacer ("sacred fire") recorded in medieval texts represented the same disease, ergotism. This interpretative method, lacking a textual basis in the sources, has been incorrectly followed by historians till now. This book examines this historical prejudice through textual analysis, comparing diverse medieval and early modern sources. A striking semantic complexity emerges that changes the concept of St. Anthony's fire and modifies our understanding of diseases in general. This research illuminates aspects of the history of medicine, society, and hospitals.
This book argues that pre-modern societies were characterized by a common quest for human flourishing or excellence, i.e. virtue. The history of virtue is a particularly fruitful approach when studying pre-modern periods. Systems of moral philosophy and more day-to-day moral ideas and practices in which virtue was central were incredibly important in pre-modern societies within and among diverse scholarly, literary, religious and social communities. Virtue was a cornerstone of pre-modern societies, permeating society in many different ways, and on many different levels, and it was conveyed in erudite and pedagogical texts, ritual, performance and images. The construction of virtues such as wisdom, courage, and justice helped shape identities and communities, but also served to legitimize and reinforce differences pertaining to gender, social hierarchies, and nations. On a more fundamental level, studying the history of virtue helps us understand the guiding principles of historical action. Thus, we believe that the history of virtue is central to understanding these societies, and that the history of virtue, including criticisms of virtue and virtue ethics, tells us important things about how men and women thought and acted in ages past.
No human society has ever been perfect, a fact that has led thinkers as far back as Plato and St. Augustine to conceive of utopias both as a fanciful means of escape from an imperfect reality and as a useful tool with which to design improvements upon it.
The most studied utopias have been proposed by men, but during the eighteenth century a group of reform-oriented female novelists put forth a series of work that expressed their views of, and their reservations about, ideal societies. In Women's Utopias of the Eighteenth Century, Alessa Johns examines the utopian communities envisaged by Mary Astell, Sarah Fielding, Mary Hamilton, Sarah Scott, and other writers from Britain and continental Europe, uncovering the ways in which they resembled--and departed from--traditional utopias.
Johns demonstrates that while traditional visions tended to look back to absolutist models, women's utopias quickly incorporated emerging liberal ideas that allowed far more room for personal initiative and gave agency to groups that were not culturally dominant, such as the female writers themselves. Women's utopias, Johns argues, were reproductive in nature. They had the potential to reimagine and perpetuate themselves.
Writing Lives in the Eighteenth Century is a collection of essays on memoir, biography, and autobiography during a formative period for the genre. The essays revolve around recognized male and female figures—returning to the Boswell and Burney circle—but present arguments that dismantle traditional privileging of biographical modes. The contributors reconsider the processes of hero making in the beginning phases of a culture of celebrity. Employing the methodology William Godwin outlined for novelists of taking material “from all sources, experience, report, and the records of human affairs,” each contributor examines within the contexts of their time and historical traditions the anxieties and imperatives of the auto/biographer as she or he shapes material into a legacy. New work on Frances Burney D’Arblay’s son, Alexander, as revealed through letters; on Isabelle de Charriere; on Hester Thrale Piozzi; and on Alicia LeFanu and Frances Burney’s realignment of family biography extend current conversations about eighteenth century biography and autobiography.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.