Catalogue

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Material delight and the joy of living [electronic resource] : cultural consumption in the Age of Enlightenment in Germany /
Michael North ; translated by Pamela Selwyn.
imprint
Aldershot, Hampshire, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2008.
description
viii, 273 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0754658422 (alk. paper), 9780754658429 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Aldershot, Hampshire, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2008.
isbn
0754658422 (alk. paper)
9780754658429 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction : the eighteenth century : an age of cultural consumption -- Books and reading -- Travel and the culture of travel -- Fashion and luxury -- The culture of domestic interiors -- Gardens and country houses -- Art and taste -- Musical culture -- Theatre and opera -- The new stimulants and sociability -- Conclusion : cultural consumption and identity.
catalogue key
13440194
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [173]-255) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-08-01:
North (Univ. of Greifswald) draws on recent scholarship on the consumer revolution to identify patterns of consumption in 18th-century Germany. With a series of brief investigations of an array of objects like books, residential furnishings, and hot beverages, North argues convincingly that Germany participated in the dramatic surge in consumption more typically associated with cultural capitals like London and Paris. Surprisingly, North identifies little that is especially "German" about this consumption. Instead, his Germany largely functions only as passive participant of the consumption cycles emanating from elsewhere in Europe. Despite this deficit, North begins the important process of exploring European consumption outside more familiar metropolitan areas, and his work will likely inspire additional scholarship in this area. Readers already exposed to work on consumption by Maxine Berg, John Brewer, and Neil McKendrick, among others, will find North's analytical framework and his areas of investigation familiar. Those lacking this foundation, however, will have a harder time grasping the significance of the evidence that North marshals. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. S. Takats George Mason University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2009
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
18th-century Europe witnessed a commercialisation of culture. The centres of cultural exchange and consumption were the great cities of Europe and cultural consumption played a substantial role in creating social identity. It is against this background that the book systematically explores this field, focussing especially on Germany.
Long Description
Eighteenth-century Europe witnessed a commercialisation of culture as it became less courtly and more urban. The marketing of culture became separate from the production of culture. New cultural entrepreneurs entered the stage: The impresario, the publisher, the book seller, the art dealer, the auction house, and the reading society served as middlemen between producers and consumers of culture, and constituted at the same time the beginning of a cultural service sector. Cultural consumption also played a substantial role in creating social identity. One could demonstrate social status by attending an auction, watching a play, or listening to a concert. Moreover, and eventually more important, one could demonstrate connoisseurship and taste, which became important indicators of social standing. The centres of cultural exchange and consumption were the great cities of Europe. In the course of the eighteenth century, however, cultural consumption spread much deeper, for example into the numerous residential and university towns in Germany, where a growing number of functional elites and burghers met in coffee houses and reading societies, attended the theatre and opera, and performed orchestral and chamber music together. Journals, novels and letters were also crucial in forming consumer culture in provincial Germany: as the German states were remote from the cultural life of England and France, the material reality of London and Paris often passed as a literary construction to Germany. It is against this background, and stimulated by the research of John Brewer on England, that the book systematically explores this field for the first time in regard to the Continent, and especially to eighteenth-century Germany. Michael North focuses, chapter by chapter, on the new forms of entertainment (concerts, theatre, opera, reading societies, travelling) on the one hand and on the new material culture (fashion, gardens, country houses, furniture) on the other. At the centre of the discussion is the reception of English culture on the Continent, and the competition of English and French fashions in the homes of German elites and burghers attracts special attention. The book closes with an investigation of the role of cultural consumption for identity formation, demonstrating the integration of Germany into a European cultural identity/ taste discourse during the eighteenth century.
Main Description
Eighteenth-century Europe witnessed a commercialisation of culture as the marketing of culture became separated from its production and new cultural entrepreneurs entered the stage. Cultural consumption also played a substantial role in creating social identity. In this book, Michael North systematically explores this field for the first time in regard to the European Continent, and especially to eighteenth-century Germany. Chapters focus on the new forms of entertainment concerts, theatre, opera, reading societies and traveling on the one hand and on the new material culture fashion, gardens, country houses and furniture on the other.
Table of Contents
Contents
Introduction: the 18th century - an age of cultural consumption
Books and reading
Travel and the culture of travel
Fashion and luxury
The culture of domestic interiors
Gardens and country houses
Art and taste
Musical culture
Theatre and opera
The new stimulants and sociability
Cultural consumption and identity
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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