George Eliot and Money: Economics, Ethics and Literature (Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature & Culture 90)
By: Dermot Coleman (author)Hardback
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Unlike other Victorian novelists George Eliot rarely incorporated stock market speculation and fraud into her plots, but meditations on money, finance and economics, in relation both to individual ethics and to wider social implications, infuse her novels. This volume examines Eliot's understanding of money and economics, its bearing on her moral and political thought, and the ways in which she incorporated that thought into her novels. It offers a detailed account of Eliot's intellectual engagements with political economy, utilitarianism, and the new liberalism of the 1870s, and also her practical dealings with money through her management of household and business finances and, in later years, her considerable investments in stocks and shares. In a wider context, it presents a detailed study of the ethics of economics in nineteenth-century England, tracing the often uncomfortable relationship between morality and economic utility experienced by intellectuals of the period.
Dermot Coleman gained his doctorate at Exeter University and is a founding partner of SISU Capital, a London-based investment management company. He is a contributor to George Eliot in Context (Cambridge, 2013) and acts as a reviewer for the journal Nineteenth-Century Literature.
Introduction; 1. 'A subject of which I know so little': George Eliot and political economy; 2. 'Intentions of stern thrift': the formation of a vernacular economics; 3. 'A money-getting profession': negotiating the commerce of literature; 4. Calculating consequences: Felix Holt and the limits of utilitarianism; 5. Testing the Kantian pillars: debt obligations and financial imperatives in Middlemarch; 6. Being good and doing good with money: incorporating the bourgeois virtues; 7. The individual and the State: economic sociology in Romola; 8. The politics of wealth: new liberalism and the pathologies of economic individualism; Appendix A. George Eliot's final stock portfolio, 1880; Appendix B. Was Edward Tulliver made bankrupt? An analysis of his financial downfall; Bibliography.
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