Aspects of Eighteenth-Century Culture:

A Sample Annotated Bibliography

Hume, Robert D. Henry Fielding and the London Theatre, 1728-1737. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.

Hume argues that appraisals of Fielding's plays have been based on misleading criteria and incomplete knowledge of London theaters in the 1730s. The book provides a thorough account of Fielding's theatrical career and combines biographical information with analysis of texts.

Koehn, Nancy. The Power of Commerce. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.

Koehn explores Britain's response to the challenge of administering the new territories it gained after the Seven Years War. She attempts a reconstruction of the British economy during the period 1763-1773 and argues persuasively that economic concerns were a primary factor in the political decisions of the time. Her book contains very detailed and useful bibliographic information, including a long list of contemporary manuscript and pamphlet sources.

Lawrence, Karen. Penelope Voyages: Women and Travel in the British Literary Tradition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.

Lawrence proposes that women have a special relation to travel narratives. Since Homer, travel narratives have been gendered; it is Penelope who, chaste and loyal, waits for her husband to return from his adventures. The book explores how primal gender associations (woman as home, man as adventurer) contribute to and complicate the actual travel narratives written by women.

The Loverís Instructor; or, The Whole Art of Courtship Rendered Plain and Easy. Norwich, Conn., 1796.

An entertaining example of an early conduct guide on the subject of courtship and marriage. Contains sample love letters, love poems, and advice on selecting and courting a suitable spouse with grace and decorum. Provides a good sense of the expected roles of men and women in the eighteenth-century dating game and the anxieties they created.

Lynch, Jack. Eighteenth-Century Resources. []. January, 1999.

This is a comprehensive and well-organized collection of electronic resources having to do with eighteenth-century studies. The site contains links to images, bibliographies, course syllabi, articles, archives, timelines, maps, and other materials arranged according to categories such as music, history, philosophy, science, religion, etc. The collected materials are of a consistently high scholarly quality, suitable for advanced students and professionals in these fields.

Pettit, Alexander. "The Grub-Street Journal and the Politics of Anachronism." Philological Quarterly 69 (1990): 435-451.

This article discusses the politics of the Grub-Street Journal from 1730-1737 and argues that the political position of the journal is founded on both staunch orthodox Anglicanism and a rigorous identification with the reign of Charles I. Pettit claims that one of the journal's objectives was an attempt to restore decency to politics and religion.

Rogers, Pat. Grub Street: Studies in a Subculture. London: Methuen & Co., 1972.

Rogers provides a fascinating and very readable account of Grub Street life and culture, from its location within the city of London to its population and living conditions. Print culture and hack writers are the main focus, but Rogers also talks about crime and punishment, the effects of the Great Fire and the Plague, and Jonathan Swift's relation to Grub Street publications and writers.

Wanko, Cheryl. "Mary Morein: Drury Lane Actress and Fair Performer." Theatre Survey 32 (1991): 22-30.

This article offers valuable insights into the lifestyle of a fair performer and Drury Lane actress whose life would have been completely forgotten had she not carried out legal proceedings against one William Pinkethem. The surviving legal papers convey a sense of how actresses were regarded at this tumultuous time in the English theatre.