Book ID: CBB640766925

The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America (2017)


Horn, Jennifer Van (Author)

The University of North Carolina Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: xvii; 428 pp.
Language: English

Over the course of the eighteenth century, Anglo-Americans purchased an unprecedented number and array of goods. The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America investigates these diverse artifacts—from portraits and city views to gravestones, dressing furniture, and prosthetic devices—to explore how elite American consumers assembled objects to form a new civil society on the margins of the British Empire. In this interdisciplinary transatlantic study, artifacts emerge as key players in the formation of Anglo-American communities and eventually of American citizenship. Deftly interweaving analysis of images with furniture, architecture, clothing, and literary works, Van Horn reconstructs the networks of goods that bound together consumers in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. Moving beyond emulation and the desire for social status as the primary motivators for consumption, Van Horn shows that Anglo-Americans' material choices were intimately bound up with their efforts to distance themselves from Native Americans and African Americans. She also traces women's contested place in forging provincial culture. As encountered through a woman's application of makeup at her dressing table or an amputee's donning of a wooden leg after the Revolutionary War, material artifacts were far from passive markers of rank or political identification. They made Anglo-American society.

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Authors & Contributors
Murrin, John M.
Johnson, Christopher
Jones, David S.
Brückner, Martin
Meacham, Sarah Hand
Porter, Charlotte M.
Journal of the History of Ideas
Museum History Journal
American Historical Review
Journal of Global History
Quaderns d'Història de l'Enginyeria
Harvard University Press
Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by University of North Carolina Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Georgia Press
Oxford University Press
University of Virginia Press
Great Britain, colonies
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Travel; exploration
Winthrop, John
Hakluyt, Richard
Time Periods
18th century
17th century
19th century
20th century
16th century
Early modern
North America
United States

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