Culture and Money in the Nineteenth Century
Abstracting Economics

Edited by Daniel Bivona and Marlene Tromp

“Highlighting the centrality of economic thought to nineteenth-century culture, this intriguing volume expands our sense of what constituted the ‘economic.’ Its global reach and smart, wide-ranging essays make Culture and Money valuable reading.”

Jill Rappoport, University of Kentucky

“Through original treatment of a wide range of topics, from art galleries to wills and from the textile industry to the representation of beggars, Culture and Money in the Nineteenth Century showcases the impressive breadth and scope of economic thinking in the period.”

Lana L. Dalley, coeditor (with Jill Rappoport) of Economic Women: Essays on Desire and Dispossession in Nineteenth-Century British Culture

“These essays give some intriguing insights into … a fruitful, revealing and ever relevant field of interdisciplinary study.”

The Times Literary Supplement

Since the 1980s, scholars have made the case for examining nineteenth-century culture — particularly literary output  —  through the lens of economics. In Culture and Money in the Nineteenth Century: Abstracting Economics, two luminaries in the field of Victorian studies, Daniel Bivona and Marlene Tromp, have collected contributions from leading thinkers that push New Economic Criticism in new and exciting directions.

Spanning the Americas, India, England, and Scotland, this volume adopts an inclusive, global view of the cultural effects of economics and exchange. Contributors use the concept of abstraction to show how economic thought and concerns around money permeated all aspects of nineteenth-century culture, from the language of wills to arguments around the social purpose of art.

The characteristics of investment and speculation; the fraught symbolic and practical meanings of paper money to the Victorians; the shifting value of goods, services, and ideas; the evolving legal conceptualizations of artistic ownership — all of these, contributors argue, are essential to understanding nineteenth-century culture in Britain and beyond.

Contributors: Daniel Bivona, Suzanne Daly, Jennifer Hayward, Aeron Hunt, Roy Kreitner, Kathryn Pratt Russell, Cordelia Smith, and Marlene Tromp.

Daniel Bivona is the author of Desire and Contradiction: Imperial Visions and Domestic Debates in Victorian Literature, British Imperial Literature, 1870 to 1940: Writing and the Administration of Empire, and (with Roger B. Henkle) The Imagination of Class: Masculinity and the Victorian Urban Poor. He teaches at Arizona State University.

Marlene Tromp is the author of Altered States: Sex, Nation, Drugs, and Self-Transformation in Victorian Spiritualism and The Private Rod: Marital Violence, Sensation, and the Law in Victorian Britain as well as an editor or contributor to other volumes. She is president of the North American Victorian Studies Association and teaches at Arizona State University.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    Abstracting Economics
    Daniel Bivona and Marlene Tromp
  • Part ONE: Broad Abstractions
    Character, Professional Expertise, and Nature
    • Chapter One: Born to the Business
      Heredity, Ability, and Commercial Character in Late Victorian Britain
      Aeron Hunt
    • Chapter Two: Shifting the Ground of Monetary Politics
      The Case of the 1870s
      Roy Kreitner
    • Chapter Three: The Comparative Advantages of Survival
      Darwin’s Origin, Competition, and the Economy of Nature
      Daniel Bivona
  • Part TWO: Particular Abstractions
    Economics and Culture
    • Chapter Four: Art Unions and the Changing Face of Victorian Gambling
      Cordelia Smith
    • Chapter Five: El Metálico Lord
      Money and Mythmaking in Thomas Cochrane’s 1859 Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru, and Brazil from Spanish and Portuguese Domination
      Jennifer Hayward
    • Chapter Six: From Cooperation to Concentration
      Socialism, Salvationism, and the “Indian Beggar”
      Suzanne Daly
    • Chapter Seven: Walter Scott’s Two Nations and the State of the Textile Industry in Britain
      Kathryn Pratt Russell
    • Chapter Eight: Antidomestic
      The Afterlife of Wills and the Politics of Foreign Investment, 1850–85
      Marlene Tromp
  • Contributors
  • Index

Order a print copy

Hardcover · $63.96 · Add to Cart

Retail price: $79.95 · Save 20% ($63.96)

Find at a local bookstore


Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon


Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Downloads & Links



In Series

Series in Victorian Studies

Related Subjects

Literary Criticism, UK · Literary Studies · Victorian Studies · Economic History



Retail price: $79.95, S.
Release date: May 2016
2 illus. · 240 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World


Release date: May 2016
2 illus. · ≅ 240 pages
Rights: World