Abstract

This essay examines the reaction of the public and periodical press to the exhibition and sale of William Beckford’s country estate. The specific circumstances of Beckford’s notoriety and unconventional tastes, the conjunction of exhibition and sale, and the publicity surrounding the auction undermined the conventional ideology of the country house and transgressed categories of exhibiting, display, and viewing in a number of significant ways; by analyzing the points of friction characterizing the exhibition’s reception I will reveal what was at stake in the struggle for cultural authority, here manifested as public display and gentlemanly taste, in the early nineteenth century.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 543-563
Launched on MUSE
2008-07-13
Open Access
No
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