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Talk Of The Town: Figurative Publics in Eighteenth-Century Britain
(2007)
  • Ann C. Dean, University of Southern Maine
Abstract

This study argues that in eighteenth-century Britain, the public sphere was a figure of speech created by juxtaposed images of more limited, local, and particular arenas of discussion. In letters, newspapers, and books, eighteenth-century British writers described the "public" qualities of three different spaces: court, coffeehouse, and meeting. Writers referred to the proliferation of these social spaces, describing multiple coffeehouses, drawing rooms, and meetings, among which the customary language of each was circulated in repeated conversations and printed newspapers.These multiple references created a set of interrelated, competing, and mutually defining metaphors and figurations: figurative public spheres.

Keywords
  • Great Britain -- Intellectual life -- 18th century,
  • Public opinion -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century,
  • Press and politics -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century,
  • Coffeehouses -- Social aspects -- Great Britain
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Publisher
Bucknell University Press
Citation Information
Ann C. Dean. Talk Of The Town: Figurative Publics in Eighteenth-Century Britain. (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ann_dean/2/