Fiction, Famine, and the Rise of Economics in Victorian Britain and Ireland

By Gordon Bigelow | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION

1. J. K. Gibson-Graham's The End of Capitalism (As We Knew it) (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996) points out the ubiquity of economic rhetoric in recent US electoral politics.

2. Stephen Gill, Wordsworth and the Victorians (Oxford: Clarendon, 1998) makes a powerful case for such diffuse literary and social influence. The impact of romanticism on economic behavior is confronted in Colin Campbell, The Romantic Ethic and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1987). However, Campbell's interest is not in the theory of economics but in a certain spirit of hedonistic indulgence he finds in modern consumerism. He attempts to trace this hedonistic spirit to the romantics.

3. W[illiam] Stanley Jevons, The Theory of Political Economy, 5th edn., ed. H. Stanley Jevons (1871; New York: Kelley & Millman, 1957), xiv.

4. Ibid., vii.

5. On perceived connections between economics and the physical sciences in the nineteenth century, see Phillip Mirowski, More Heat than Light: Economics as Social Physics: Physics as Nature's Economics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

6. Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780–1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), xviii.

7. Ibid., xviii. Philip Connel makes the point in a somewhat different way:

our inherited sense of the incompatibility between literary sensibility and economic
science has obscured the extent to which early nineteenth-century political economy,
and the debate on its legitimacy, scope, and function, played a formative role in the
emergence of the idea of ‘culture’ itself, as a humanistic or spiritual resource resis-
tant to the intellectual enervation produced by modern, commercial societies. (Ro-
manticism, Economics and the Question of “Culture”
[Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2001], 7)

8. Boyd Hilton, The Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicalism on Social and Economic Thought, 1795–1865 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1988). On the idea that Malthus trumps Adam Smithin the first half of the nineteenth century, see also Donald Winch, Riches and Poverty: An Intellectual History of Political Economy in Britain, 1750–1834 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

-184-

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