Gender and the Formation of Taste in Eighteenth-Century Britain: The Analysis of Beauty

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 2, 1998 - History - 268 pages
In Gender and the Formation of Taste in Eighteenth-Century Britain Robert Jones provides a new understanding of how emergent critical discourses negotiated with earlier accounts of taste and beauty in order to redefine culture in line with the polite virtues of the urban middle classes. Crucially, the ability to form opinions on questions of beauty, and the capacity to enter into debates on its nature, was thought to characterise those able to participate in cultural discourse. Furthermore, the term 'beauty' was frequently invoked, in various and contradictory ways, to determine acceptable behaviour for women. In his wide-ranging book, Jones discusses a variety of materials, including philosophical works by William Hogarth, Edmund Burke and Joshua Reynolds, novels by Charlotte Lennox and Sarah Scott, and the many representations of the celebrated beauty Elizabeth Gunning.

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polite taste and the judgement
Joshua Reynolds
femininity ugliness

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