“Krista Lysack’s Come Buy, Come Buy provides an original, revisionary approach to the study of British women’s writing, and its explication of the relationships among consumer culture, identity and citizenship makes an important contribution to nineteenth-century scholarship.”
Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, author of Christina Rossetti and Illustration: A Publishing History
”Lysack’s shopping woman escapes commonplace Victorian notions of woman’s desire to buy as dangerous, as demanding regulation or self-regulation.… Lysack…advances our thinking about nineteenth-century female agency.”
Studies in English Literature
“Krista Lysack’s Come Buy, Come Buy is a deft, compact, and polished consideration of (mainly middle class) female shopping as a literary and cultural theme in the Victorian period.”
Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature
“(T)his is a well-written and diligently researched study of critical issues in nineteenth-century consumer culture. One of the book’s strengths is its extensive use of archival sources, including women’s magazines and newspapers, shoppers’ guides, and books on domestic management. These culturally significant texts usefully deepen and extend the close readings of literature, enabling richly detailed arguments to emerge.”
From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption. Come Buy, Come Buy considers representations of the female shopper in British women’s writing and demonstrates how women’s shopping practices are materialized as forms of narrative, poetic, and cultural inscription, showing how women writers emphasize consumerism as productive of pleasure rather than the condition of seduction or loss. Krista Lysack examines works by Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, and Michael Field, as well as the suffragette newspaper Votes for Women, in order to challenge the dominant construction of Victorian femininity as characterized by self-renunciation and the regulation of appetite.
Come Buy, Come Buy considers not only literary works, but also a variety of archival sources (shopping guides, women’s fashion magazines, household management guides, newspapers, and advertisements) and cultural practices (department store shopping, shoplifting and kleptomania, domestic economy, and suffragette shopkeeping). With this wealth of sources, Lysack traces a genealogy of the woman shopper from dissident domestic spender to aesthetic connoisseur, from curious shop-gazer to political radical.
Krista Lysack teaches in the department of English at the University of Western Ontario. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Victorian Poetry, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and SEL.
Save 20% ($23.96)
Save 20% ($39.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Gruel and truffles, wine and gin, opium and cocaine. Making a Man: Gentlemanly Appetites in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel addresses the role of food, drink, and drugs in the conspicuously consuming nineteenth century in order to explore the question of what makes a man of a certain class in novels of the period.
In 1837, when Queen Victoria came to the throne, no institution of higher education in Britain was open to women. By the end of the century, a quiet revolution had occurred: women had penetrated even the venerable walls of Oxford and Cambridge and could earn degrees at the many new universities founded during Victoria's reign. During the same period, novelists increasingly put intellectually ambitious heroines students, teachers, and frustrated scholars—at the center of their books.
The English middle class in the late nineteenth century enjoyed an increase in the availability and variety of material goods. With that, the visual markers of class membership and manly behavior underwent a radical change.
Of the many literary phenomena that sprang up in eighteenth-century England and later became a staple of Victorian culture, one that has received little attention until now is the “Family Bible with Notes.” Published in serial parts to make it affordable, the Family Bible was designed to enhance the family's status and sense of national and imperial identity.