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The Little Republic: Masculinity and Domestic Authority in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Paperback)
  • The Little Republic: Masculinity and Domestic Authority in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Paperback)
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The Little Republic: Masculinity and Domestic Authority in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Paperback)

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£30.49
Paperback 240 Pages / Published: 24/04/2014
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This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. The Little Republic examines the relationship between masculinity, the household, and domestic patriarchy. How did men engage with domestic life? What did the household mean to men? How could they lay claim to domestic authority? In reconstructing men's own understandings, this volume foregrounds the concept of the 'house' and the associated discourse of 'oeconomy': the practice of managing the economic and moral resources of the household for the maintenance of good order. Oeconomy shaped men's engagements with the household adn underpinned the patriarchal authority they acquired through the mundane material practices of everyday household management. The house also endured as a central component of masculinity, providing the grounding for men's self and public identities. Indeed, the skills and virtues practised by men in their 'little republics' were tied increasingly closely to a language of public-spirited political citizenship. The close relationship between men and the domestic in eighteenth-century Britain has been obscured by accounts that chart a decline in domestic patriarchy grounded in political patriarchalism, and the emergence of a new 'home' charcterized by a feminized culture of 'domesticity'. The Little Republic shifts the terms of these discussions. The eighteenth-century house was neither private nor feminized. Oeconomy brought together the house and the world - and increasingly so - primarily through men's authoritative engagement with the household.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199686131
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 366 g
Dimensions: 236 x 159 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In The Little Republic, Karen Harvey successfully situates men at the heart of 18th-century households. Subverting a succession of tired stereotypes about the exclusive femininity of the domestic sphere, her richly researched volume sheds much new light into the dark corners of the Georgian home. Taking into account both theories of domestic economy and material practices of daily life, Harvey presents us with a new and compelling account of British masculinity at the cusp between early modern and modern times. * Margot Finn, University College London *
a stimulating work of originality, analysing the relationship between men and the domestic household in the eighteenth century. ... The book breaks new ground. * Northern History *
This is a book based on diligent research and careful thought. It painstakingly recreates the daily practice of a hitherto rather neglected aspect of eighteenth-century masculinity, and reconstructs the eighteenth-century middle-class household as the joint, complementary domain of men and women. * Faramerz Dabhoiwala, English Historical Review *
ambitiously undertake to bring clarity to what is a still rather muddled history of men and manhood. They succeed admirably. * James Rosenheim, American Historical Review *

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