Writing and the Rise of Finance: Capital Satires of the Early Eighteenth Century
The early eighteenth century saw a far-reaching financial revolution in England. In this original study, Colin Nicholson reads familiar texts such as Gulliver's Travels, The Beggar's Opera and The Dunciad as "capital satires," responding to the social and political effects of the installation of capitalist financial institutions in London. While they invested in stocks and shares, Swift, Pope and Gay conducted a campaign against the civic effects of new financial institutions such as the Bank of England and the inauguration of the National Debt. Conflict between these writers' inherited discourse of civic humanism and the transformations being undergone by their own society is shown to have had a profound effect on a number of key literary texts.
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Addison Alexander Pope appearance Bank of England Bathurst become Beggar's Opera Belinda's Bolingbroke Brobdingnag civic classical comic commerce common concerned construction Corr corruption couplet culture debt Defoe developing discourse Dulness Dunciad economic edited effects Eighteenth-Century English Epistle Essay ethical exchange Exchange Alley F. W. Bateson fantasy figure Financial Revolution forms Gay's Gibber Gity goddess Gold Gulliver Gulliver's Travels honour Houyhnhnms human Ibid ideology individual interest investment John John Gay Jonathan Swift King landed literary Locke London lottery Mandeville Mandeville's Marx metaphor monetary moral Nation natural Opposition writers Oxford Parliament passion Peachum perception poem poem's poetry political Pope's possession Public Credit Rape Reason recognition rise satire satirises sense share social society South Sea Bubble South Sea Company South Sea stock Spectator stock market structure Subsequent suggests Swift things Tory trade traditional valorisations values virtue Walpole Walpole's wealth Whig writing