Commodity Culture in Dickens's Household Words: The Social Life of Goods
In 1850, Charles Dickens founded Household Words, a weekly miscellany intended to instruct and entertain an ever-widening middle-class readership. Published in the decade following the Great Exhibition of 1851, the journal appeared at a key moment in the emergence of commodity culture in Victorian England. Alongside the more well-known fiction that appeared in its pages, Dickens filled Household Words with articles about various commodities-articles that raise wider questions about how far society should go in permitting people to buy and sell goods and services: in other words, how far the laissez-faire market should extend.At the same time, Household Words was itself a commodity. With marketability clearly in view, Dickens required articles for his journal to be 'imaginative, ' employing a style that critics ever since have too readily dismissed as mere mannerism. Locating the journal and its distinctive handling of non-fictional prose in relation to other contemporary periodicals and forms of print culture, this book demonstrates the role that Household Words in particular, and the Victorian press more generally, played in responding to the developing world of commodities and their consumption at mid-century
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
adulteration advertising April Arcades Arcades Project argues authenticity Benjamin British Cambridge Cawdor Street century Chambers s Edinburgh Chapter Charles Dickens comic commercial commodification commodity culture consumer consumption contrasts contributors Crystal Palace Dickens's display distinguished dress Dudley Costello Duke Edinburgh Journal Elizabeth Gaskell English essay evidence exchange Exhibition factory fashion February fiction flaneur funeral George Dodd Harriet Martineau Henry Morley Household Words Houses to Let Ibid identity Illustrations of Cheapness imaginative imperial India industrial John Capper John Hollingshead July June labour London machine Manchester manufacture March mid-century modern Morley's narrative narrator nineteenth nineteenth-century notes novel November objects October Oxford panorama Paris Pill process articles production published raw materials readers remarks Richard Sala's satiric second-hand clothing shillings shops sketch social spectacle Sweetwort things tourist Trading in Death University Press urban Victorian Victorian Literature Walter Benjamin Wellington William Blanchard Jerrold Words's writes