Virtue, Commerce, and Orientalism in Eighteenth-Century England, 1660-1760
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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This book would not have been possible without the generosity of numerous individuals and institutions along the way. It was completed with the assistance of a junior faculty research leave from the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences, ...
Introduction China as Exemplar: Eastern Spectacle and Western Discourses of Virtue
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To early modern Europe, China emerged as an exemplary and controversial model of empire, by turns enlightened and despotic. Representations of virtue in British cultural production were significantly shaped by the intensified trade with the East Indies and by a new environment that combined consumerism with didacticism. ...
1 Heroic Effeminacy and the Conquest of China
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Buried in the annals of English theater history is an obscure play by Elkanah Settle, The Conquest of China, By the Tartars (1676), perhaps most notable for its resounding failure with Restoration audiences. As an eighteenth-century critic remarked, the play was terribly acted ...
2 Sincerity and Authenticity: George Psalmanazar’s Experiments in Conversion
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The staging, in England, of Chinese history was as much an exercise of spectacle as it was an experiment with the conventions and limits of heroic virtue. The unruly example of China’s conquest, imagined in relation to a number of gendered places and times—Tartary, Greece, Rome ...
3 Transmigration, Fabulous Pedagogy, and the Morals of the Orient
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We can explore the spectacle of heathen conversion not only through a cultural forgery such as Psalmanazar’s but through the literary and philosophical fashioning of Eastern religions into consumable objects of moral pedagogy. “Virtue,” as we have seen, is an ever-shifting ground of competing ideologies. ...
4 Luxury, Moral Sentiment, and The Orphan of China
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London audiences attending the opening of Arthur Murphy’s The Orphan of China in February 1759 would have been struck by its elaborate staging, which was a subtle study in contrasts. Unlike Settle’s Conquest of China, this heroic tragedy was an instant success. ...
Epilogue: Orientalism, Globalization, and the New Business of Spectacle
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The moral and material excesses of Eastern empires were of particular interest to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English reflections on the changing nature of global commerce and its increasing impact on everyday metropolitan life and the wealth of the nation. ...
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Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 16 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2011