The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-century England

The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-century England

By: David Porter (author)Paperback

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Eighteenth-century consumers in Britain, living in an increasingly globalised world, were infatuated with exotic Chinese and Chinese-styled goods, art and decorative objects. However, they were also often troubled by the alien aesthetic sensibility these goods embodied. This ambivalence figures centrally in the period's experience of China and of contact with foreign countries and cultures more generally. In this book, David Porter analyses the processes by which Chinese aesthetic ideas were assimilated within English culture. Through case studies of individual figures, including William Hogarth and Horace Walpole, and broader reflections on cross-cultural interaction, Porter's readings develop interpretations of eighteenth-century ideas of luxury, consumption, gender, taste and aesthetic nationalism. Illustrated with many examples of Chinese and Chinese-inspired objects and art, this is a major contribution to eighteenth-century cultural history and to the history of contact and exchange between China and the West.

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About Author

David Porter is Associate Professor in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.


Introduction. Monstrous beauty; Part I. China and the Aesthetics of Exoticism: 1. Eighteenth-century fashion and the aesthetics of the Chinese taste; 2. Cross-cultural aesthetics in William Chambers' Chinese Garden; Part II. What Do Women Want?: 3. Gendered Utopias in transcultural context; 4. William Hogarth and the gendering of Chinese exoticism; Part III. Of Rocks, Gardens, and Goldfish: 5. The socio-aesthetics of the Scholar's Stone; 6. Horace Walpole and the Gothic repudiation of Chinoiserie; Part IV. China and the Invention of Englishness: 7. Chinaware and the evolution of a modern domestic ideal; 8. Thomas Percy's Sinology and the origins of English Romanticism; Bibliography; Index.

Product Details

  • publication date: 06/03/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781107662377
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 242
  • ID: 9781107662377
  • weight: 390
  • ISBN10: 1107662370

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