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The Bosom of the Bourgeoisie: Edgeworth's Belinda
English Literary History (2003)
  • Jordana Rosenberg, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Recent work in eighteenth-century studies has been notoriously preoccupied by what seem to be striking metaphorical resonances between economic and aesthetic 'spheres of practice,' but, as I argue in my paper, it is the confounding of these analogies that may be most salient. Although Edgeworth's Belinda has been frequently read as demystifying aristocratic codes by replacing sharp sociality with good-natured bourgeois instruction, I show that this text imagines the difference between bourgeois and gift economies not as the substitution of humor's instructive mirth for wit's arch conceits, but as a spectacular encounter between the two.

Publication Date
Summer 2003
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
Jordana Rosenberg. "The Bosom of the Bourgeoisie: Edgeworth's Belinda" English Literary History Vol. 70 Iss. 2 (2003)
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