With the cancellation of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies meeting, we are inviting ASECS attendees to instead browse our virtual bookstore. We are offering a 30% discount and free media mail shipping on all the books below until April 15. To access the discount, add the books you would like to purchase to your cart, and use the promo code HHCL before checking out.
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Beginning in the late eighteenth century, as constant growth became the economic norm throughout Europe, fictional stories involving money were overwhelmingly about loss. Novel after novel tells the tale of bankruptcy and financial failure, of people losing everything and ending up in debtor's prison, of inheritances lost and daughters left orphaned and poor. In Downward Mobility, Katherine Binhammer argues that these stories of ruin are not simple tales about the losers of capitalism but narratives that help manage speculation of capital's inevitable collapse.
Daniel R. Mandell
The United States has some of the highest levels of both wealth and income inequality in the world. Although modern-day Americans are increasingly concerned about this growing inequality, many nonetheless believe that the country was founded on a person's right to acquire and control property. But in The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America, 1600–1870, Daniel R. Mandell argues that, in fact, the United States was originally deeply influenced by the belief that maintaining a "rough" or relative equality of wealth is essential to the cultivation of a successful republican government.
There seems to be widespread agreement that—when it comes to the writing skills of college students—we are in the midst of a crisis. In Why They Can't Write, John Warner, who taught writing at the college level for two decades, argues that the problem isn't caused by a lack of rigor, or smartphones, or some generational character defect. Instead, he asserts, we're teaching writing wrong.
Nicole Mansfield Wright
As revolution and popular unrest roiled the final decades of the eighteenth century, authors, activists, and philosophers across the British Empire hailed the rise of the liberal subject, valorizing the humanity of the marginalized. Yet at the same time, a group of conservative authors mounted a reactionary attempt to cultivate sympathy for the privileged. In Defending Privilege, Nicole Mansfield Wright examines works of the time to show how conservatives used the rhetoric of victimhood in attempts to convince ordinary readers to regard a privileged person's loss of legal agency as a catastrophe greater than the calamities and exclusion suffered by the poor and the enslaved.
Crystal B. Lake
In Artifacts, Crystal B. Lake unearths the four kinds of old objects that were most frequently found and cataloged in Enlightenment-era England: coins, manuscripts, weapons, and grave goods. Following these prized objects as they made their way into popular culture, Lake develops new interpretations of works by Joseph Addison, John Dryden, Horace Walpole, Jonathan Swift, Tobias Smollett, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, among others. Rereading these authors with the artifact in mind uncovers previously unrecognized allusions that unravel works we thought we knew well.
Marla R. Miller
What was women's work truly like in late eighteenth-century America, and what does it tell us about the gendered social relations of labor in the early republic? In Entangled Lives, Marla R. Miller examines the lives of Anglo-, African, and Native American women in one rural New England community—Hadley, Massachusetts—during the town's slow transformation following the Revolutionary War. Peering into the homes, taverns, and farmyards of Hadley, Miller offers readers an intimate history of the working lives of these women and their vital role in the local economy.
Peter Charles Hoffer
In Law and People in Colonial America, Peter Charles Hoffer tells the story of early American law from its beginnings on the British mainland to its maturation during the crisis of the American Revolution. For the men and women of colonial America, Hoffer explains, law was a pervasive influence in everyday life. Because it was their law, the colonists continually adapted it to fit changing circumstances. They also developed a sense of legalism that influenced virtually all social, economic, and political relationships. This sense of intimacy with the law, Hoffer argues, assumed a transforming power in times of crisis.
In the nineteenth century, inexpensive editions of Jane Austen's novels targeted to Britain's working classes were sold at railway stations, traded for soap wrappers, and awarded as school prizes. Packed with nearly 100 full-color photographs of dazzling, sometimes gaudy, sometimes tasteless covers, The Lost Books of Jane Austen is a unique history of these rare and forgotten Austen volumes. Such shoddy editions, Janine Barchas argues, were instrumental in bringing Austen's work and reputation before the general public.
Brian Regal & Frank J. Esposito
Legend has it that in 1735, a witch named Mother Leeds gave birth to a horrifying monster—a deformed flying horse with glowing red eyes—that flew up the chimney of her New Jersey home and disappeared into the Pine Barrens. Ever since, this nightmarish beast has haunted those woods, presaging catastrophe and frightening innocent passersby—or so the story goes. In The Secret History of the Jersey Devil, Brian Regal and Frank J. Esposito examine the genesis of this popular myth, which is one of the oldest monster legends in the United States.
Margaret E. Schotte
Throughout the Age of Exploration, European maritime communities bent on colonial and commercial expansion embraced the complex mechanics of celestial navigation. They developed schools, textbooks, and instruments to teach the new mathematical techniques to sailors. In Sailing School, a richly illustrated comparative study of this transformative period, Margaret E. Schotte charts more than two hundred years of navigational history as she investigates how mariners solved the challenges of navigating beyond sight of land.
Stephanie Insley Hershinow
Between the emergence of the realist novel in the early eighteenth century and the novel's subsequent alignment with self-improvement a century later lies a significant moment when novelistic characters were unlikely to mature in any meaningful way. That adolescent protagonists poised on the cusp of adulthood resisted a headlong tumble into maturity through the workings of plot reveals a curious literary and philosophical counter-tradition in the history of the novel. Stephanie Insley Hershinow's Born Yesterday shows how the archetype of the early realist novice reveals literary character tout court.
Michael C. Carhart
Who are the nations of Europe, and where did they come from? Early modern people were as curious about their origins as we are today. Lacking twenty-first-century DNA research, seventeenth-century scholars turned to language—etymology, vocabulary, and even grammatical structure—for evidence. In Leibniz Discovers Asia, Michael C. Carhart explores this early modern practice by focusing on philosopher, scientist, and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who developed a vast network of scholars and missionaries throughout Europe to acquire the linguistic data he needed.
Joseph M. Adelman
During the American Revolution, printed material, including newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and broadsides, played a crucial role as a forum for public debate. In Revolutionary Networks, Joseph M. Adelman argues that printers—artisans who mingled with the elite but labored in a manual trade—used their commercial and political connections to directly shape Revolutionary political ideology and mass mobilization.
The Enlightenment has long been understood—and often understood itself—as an age of systems. In 1759, Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, one of the architects of the Encyclopédie, claimed that "the true system of the world has been recognized, developed, and perfected." In Systems Failure, Andrew Franta challenges this view by exploring the fascination with failure and obsession with unpredictable social forces in a range of English authors from Samuel Johnson to Jane Austen.
Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf: they all wrote dazzling books that forever changed the way we see history. In Outsiders, award-winning biographer Lyndall Gordon shows how these five novelists shared more than talent. In a time when a woman's reputation was her security, each of these women lost hers. They were unconstrained by convention, writing against the grain of their contemporaries, prophetically imagining a different future.
Lindsay Schakenbach Regele
In 1783, the Revolutionary War drew to a close, but America was still threatened by enemies at home and abroad. Its arsenal—a collection of hand-me-down and beat-up firearms—was woefully inadequate, and its manufacturing sector was weak. Domestic industry offered the best solution for true economic and military independence. In Manufacturing Advantage, Lindsay Schakenbach Regele shows how the US government promoted the industrial development of textiles and weapons to defend the country from hostile armies—and hostile imports.
Sandra Macpherson's groundbreaking study of the rise of the novel connects its form to developments in liability law across the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. In particular, Macpherson argues for a connection to legal principles of strict liability that hold persons accountable for harms inflicted upon others in the absence of intention, consent, direct action, or foreknowledge. In convincing polemical readings of Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding, she shows that these laws share with the novel the view that the state of a person's mind is irrelevant to the question of her responsibility for her actions.
Edited by Cody Marrs and Christopher Hager
It is all but inevitable for literary history to be divided into periods. "Early American," "antebellum," "modern," "post-1945"—such designations organize our knowledge of the past and shape the ways we discuss that past today. In these short, spirited, and imaginative essays, 23 leading Americanists gamely fashion new, unorthodox literary periods—from 600 B.C.E. to the present, from the Age of Van Buren to the Age of Microeconomics. Filled with challenges to scholars, inspirations for teachers (anchored by an appendix of syllabi), and entry points for students, Timelines of American Literature gathers some of the most exciting new work in the field to showcase the revelatory potential of fresh thinking about how we organize the literary past.
The Making of Jane Austen
with a new afterword
reader's guide included
Just how did Jane Austen become the celebrity author and the inspiration for generations of loyal fans she is today? Devoney Looser's The Making of Jane Austen turns to the people, performances, activism, and images that fostered Austen's early fame, laying the groundwork for the beloved author we think we know. Whether you're a devoted Janeite or simply Jane-curious, this book will have you thinking about how a literary icon is made, transformed, and handed down from generation to generation.
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