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The Ohio State University Press
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In Home Economics: Domestic Fraud in Victorian England, Rebecca Stern establishes fraud as a basic component of the Victorian popular imagination, key to its intimate, as well as corporate, systems of exchange. Although Victorian England is famous for revering the domestic realm as a sphere separate from the market and its concerns, actual households were hardly isolated havens of fiscal safety and innocence. Rather, the Victorian home was inevitably a marketplace, a site of purchase, exchange, and employment in which men and women hired or worked as servants, contracted marriages, managed children, and obtained furniture, clothing, food, and labor. Alongside the multiplication of joint-stock corporations and the rise of a credit-based economy, which dramatically increased fraud in the Victorian money market, the threat of swindling affected both actual household commerce and popular conceptions of ostensibly private, more emotive forms of exchange. Working with diverse primary material, including literature, legal cases, newspaper columns, illustrations, ballads, and pamphlets, Stern argues that the climate of fraud permeated Victorian popular ideologies about social transactions. Beyond providing a history of cases and categories of domestic deceit, Home Economics illustrates the diverse means by which Victorian culture engaged with, refuted, celebrated, represented, and consumed swindling in familial and other household relationships.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-v
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction: Fraud at Home: The Private Life of Capitalism
  2. pp. 1-18
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  1. 1. Genre Trouble: The Tichborne Claimant, Popular Narrative, and the Dangerous Pleasures of Domestic Fraud
  2. pp. 19-49
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  1. 2. Brinks Jobs: Servants, Thresholds, and Portable Property
  2. pp. 50-86
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  1. 3. Dangerous Provisions: Victorian Food Fraud
  2. pp. 87-113
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  1. 4. Speculating on Marriage: Fraud, Narrative, and the Business of Victorian Wedlock
  2. pp. 114-146
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  1. Conclusion: Child Rearing, Time Bargains, and the Modern Life of Fraud
  2. pp. 147-160
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 161-181
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 183-195
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 197-207
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  1. Back Cover
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814272008
Related ISBN
9780814210901
MARC Record
OCLC
1228476134
Pages
207
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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