Eighteenth-Century Studies

Eighteenth-Century Studies
Volume 38, Number 3, Spring 2005


    Johnson, James H., 1960-
  • Deceit and Sincerity in Early Modern Venice
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Gerachi, Tomaso -- Trials, litigation, etc.
    • Trials (Impostors and imposture) -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
    • Costume -- Social aspects -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
    • Venice (Italy) -- Social life and customs -- 18th century.
      This essay is the story of the crimes, pursuit, and eventual arrest in Venice of an eighteenth- century imposter named Tomaso Gerachi. His principal charge was having "falsified his essence" by wearing the noble toga and assuming noble titles in order to gamble with patricians. Among the court documents is a 54-page self-defense dictated by Gerachi that provides a rare glimpse into the mind of the imposter. The extraordinary efforts to arrest, convict, and punish him suggest that the case involved more than a commoner dressing out of station. Its many layers, revealed over the course of his pursuit and interrogation, expose a range of sensitive issues for eighteenth-century Venice, including noble identity, the mingling of classes under the cover of masks, and an emergent view of identity that rejected social roles for a more malleable, "sincere" self.
    Wolff, Larry.
  • "Depraved Inclinations": Libertines and Children in Casanova's Venice
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Franceschini, Gaetano -- Trials, litigation, etc.
    • Trials (Sex crimes) -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
    • Casanova, Giacomo, 1725-1798.
    • Libertinism -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
    • Children and sex -- Italy -- Venice -- History -- 18th century.
      This article studies a judicial case that came before Venetian law in 1785 concerning a man accused of taking a sexual interest in an eight-year-old girl. The article attempts to place this case in the social, legal, and cultural context of eighteenth-century Venice, and addresses the question of what it meant to prosecute such a case in the late eighteenth century, before the existence of any clear concept of the sexual abuse of children. The article uses Casanova's memoirs as the principal cultural point of reference for considering the libertine view of children as sexual targets.
    Sanchez, Melissa E.
  • Libertinism and Romance in Rochester's Poetry
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of, 1647-1680 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Libertinism in literature.
      The conceptual systems of romance and libertinism appear to offer opposing solutions to human frustration, and Rochester's poetry is typically read as endorsing one or the other perceptual mode. But such a neat division between idealized courtly love and unimpeded creaturely passion is untenable. I propose to demonstrate Rochester's awareness of the cohesion of romance sanguinity and libertine cynicism through a discussion of his use of the pastoral mode, which absorbs the ideals of both Greek romance and Epicurean libertinism. Unfortunately, these discourses of love and freedom encourage aggression and hypocrisy even as they promise to secure idyllic harmony, and the detached hedonism cultivated by Rochester's speakers thus conspicuously fails to transcend the disturbing maelstrom that is human desire. Far from escaping the salacious or sentimental aspects of experience, efforts to surmount erotic disappointment reveal that libertinism itself occupies the realm of romance: both offer the compensatory fictions without which human experience would be intolerable.
    Hurl-Eamon, Jennine.
  • The Westminster Impostors: Impersonating Law Enforcement in Early Eighteenth-Century London
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Impersonating an officer -- England -- London -- History -- 18th century.
    • Law enforcement -- England -- London -- History -- 18th century.
    • Police -- England -- London -- History -- 18th century.
      Between 1685 and 1720, twenty-nine men were caught impersonating law officers in Westminster. Though these cases may seem small in number, they represent the most common type of imposture in this period. This article argues that the impersonation of officials is an important window into the unique nature of identity and law enforcement in early eighteenth-century London. The metropolis had grown to the point where parish constables might not be recognized, and the low origins and reputed venery of many officials made this an appealing avenue for impostors. In an anonymous urban environment before photo identification, people looked at dress, demeanor, and symbols of office to determine identity, all of which worked to the advantage of these Westminster impostors.
    Weinshenker, Anne Betty.
  • Idolatry and Sculpture in Ancien Régime France
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Sculpture, French -- 18th century.
    • Idols and images -- France -- History of doctrines -- 18th century.
    • Idols and images in art.
    • Idols and images in literature.
    • Idolatry in art.
      Many texts and visual images produced in France from the later seventeenth century through the mid-eighteenth displayed a concern with idolatry. Literary figures from La Fontaine to Voltaire, ecclesiastics including Bossuet and Jurieu, and antiquarians and theorists of art such as Charles Perrault, La Font de Saint-Yenne and Antoine Le Mierre also associated the worship of false gods with sculpture. Bound up with interest in ancient and non- European mores and forms of worship, the idolatry-sculpture linkage also fed into contemporary political and religious debates. Huguenots, Jansenists, and philosophes utilized the connection to assist in promoting their views. Several public political and religious monuments appear to have been created partly in reaction to their charges.
    Alvarez, David.
  • "Poetical Cash": Joseph Addison, Antiquarianism, and Aesthetic Value
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Addison, Joseph, 1672-1719. Dialogues upon the usefulness of ancient medals.
    • Great Britain -- Intellectual life -- 18th century.
    • Neoclassicism (Literature) -- Great Britain.
    • Aesthetics, British -- 18th century.
      Joseph Addison's Dialogues upon the Usefulness of Ancient Medals (1721) is difficult to square with his critique of the uselessness of the antiquarian scholar/pedant. This essay examines how he separates his numismatic project from antiquarianism by discovering in the art of ancient money a tool for the production of social stability. As such, numismatic representation has important political uses: it provides Addison with a forceful mode of communication without hermeneutic risks and solves the problems of civic virtue and monetary value associated with England's financial revolution. This usefulness, however, demonstrates that Addison is not committed to a public sphere model of rational/critical debate but instead seeks to produce and manage community through aesthetic force.


    Landry, Donna.
  • "But were they any good?": Milkmaids on Parnassus, or, Political Aesthetics
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Kord, Susanne. Women peasant poets in eighteenth-century England, Scotland, and Germany: milkmaids on Parnassus.
    • Leapor, Mrs. (Mary), 1722-1746. Works of Mary Leapor.
    • Greene, Richard, 1961-, ed.
    • Messenger, Ann, 1933-, ed.
    • European poetry -- 18th century -- History and criticism.
    • Women -- Poetry.
    Vogeley, Nancy J.
  • Geographies and Spaces: Eighteenth-Century Nationalisms Revisited
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Stein, Stanley J. Apogee of empire: Spain and New Spain in the age of Charles III, 1759-1789.
    • Stein, Barbara H.
    • Chavez, Thomas E. Spain and the independence of the United States: an intrinsic gift.
    • Melton, James Van Horn, 1952- Rise of the public in Enlightenment Europe.
    • Spain -- Commerce -- America -- History -- 18th century.
    • United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Participation, Spanish.

Exhibition Review

    Yonan, Michael Elia.
  • Dresden Meets the Delta
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Mississippi Arts Pavilion. Glory of baroque Dresden: the State Art Collections Dresden [exhibition]
    • Art, Baroque -- Exhibitions.

Books Received

[Project MUSE] [Search Page] [Journals] [Journal Directory] [Top]