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The Resource The culture of sensibility : sex and society in eighteenth-century Britain, G.J. Barker-Benfield

The culture of sensibility : sex and society in eighteenth-century Britain, G.J. Barker-Benfield

Label
The culture of sensibility : sex and society in eighteenth-century Britain
Title
The culture of sensibility
Title remainder
sex and society in eighteenth-century Britain
Statement of responsibility
G.J. Barker-Benfield
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
During the eighteenth century, "sensibility," which once denoted merely the receptivity of the senses, came to mean a particular kind of acute and well-developed consciousness invested with spiritual and moral values and largely identified with women. How this change occurred and what it meant for society is the subject of G.J. Barker-Benfield's argument in favor of a "culture" of sensibility, in addition to the more familiar "cult." Barker-Benfield's expansive account traces the development of sensibility as a defining concept in literature, religion, politics, economics, education, domestic life, and the social world. He demonstrates that the "cult of sensibility" was at the heart of the culture of middle-class women that emerged in eighteenth-century Britain. The essence of this culture, Barker-Benfield reveals, was its articulation of women's consciousness in a world being transformed by the rise of consumerism that preceded the industrial revolution. The new commercial capitalism, while fostering the development of sensibility in men, helped many women to assert their own wishes for more power in the home and for pleasure in "the world" beyond. Barker-Benfield documents the emergence of the culture of sensibility from struggles over self-definition within individuals and, above all, between men and women as increasingly self-conscious groups. He discusses many writers, from Rochester through Hannah More, but pays particular attention to Mary Wollstonecraft as the century's most articulate analyst of the feminized culture of sensibility. Barker-Benfield's book shows how the cultivation of sensibility, while laying foundations for humanitarian reforms generally had as its primary concern the improvement of men's treatment of women. In the eighteenth-century identification of women with "virtue in distress" the author finds the roots of feminism, to the extent that it has expressed women's common sense of their victimization by men. Drawing on literature, philosophical psychology, social and economic thought, and a richly developed cultural background, The Culture of Sensibility offers an innovative and compelling way to understand the transformation of British culture in the eighteenth century
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Barker-Benfield, G. J
Dewey number
305.3/0941/09033
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
HQ1593
LC item number
.B37 1992
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Women
  • Women
  • Men
  • Men
  • Emotions
  • Sex role
  • Great Britain
  • Femmes
  • Femmes
  • Hommes
  • Hommes
  • Émotions
  • Rôle selon le sexe
  • Grande-Bretagne
  • Emotions
  • Men
  • Men
  • Sex role
  • Social conditions
  • Women
  • Women
  • Great Britain
  • Sekserol
  • Emoties
  • Moraal
  • Empfindsamkeit
  • Englisch
  • Geschlechterverhältnis
  • Literatur
  • Großbritannien
  • Sentiments
  • Femmes
  • Rôle selon le sexe
  • Hommes
  • Sensibilité (le mot français)
  • Femmes
  • Grande-Bretagne
  • Grande-Bretagne
  • Englisch
Label
The culture of sensibility : sex and society in eighteenth-century Britain, G.J. Barker-Benfield
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 397-503) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
1. Sensibility and the Nervous System -- Wollstonecraft's Perspective: The Gendering of Sensibility -- A New Psychoperceptual System -- The Application of the New System: George Cheyne, 1671-1743 -- The Reformation of Manners Combined with Consumerism -- Nerve Theory in Novels -- Female Nerves and Sensibility's Ambiguity -- 2. The Reformation of Male Manners -- The Public Manners of Men -- The Campaign for the Reformation of Manners -- Heart Religion -- The Civilizing Process and British Commercial Capitalism -- Changed Environments and the New World of Parents and Children -- 3. The Question of Effeminacy -- Shaftesbury -- Mandeville -- Hume and Smith -- Henry MacKenzie -- Politics and Boys' Literature: Thomas Day -- 4. Women and Eighteenth-Century Consumerism -- Home Demand -- Women Become Literate, Women Write Novels -- Women's Self-Expression in Fashion -- Fiction Records Women's Pleasure Seeking -- Ambivalence toward Women's Pursuit of Consumer Pleasures -- Taste -- 5. A Culture of Reform -- Antiworldview -- Women and Humanitarian Reform -- Stalking Horses: The Campaign on Behalf of Victims of Male Barbarity -- Sensibility's Goal: The Man of Feeling -- Sensibility's Method: Conversion -- The Cult of Sensibility -- Methodism and the Culture of Sensibility -- The Rights of Woman and the Reformation of Manners -- 6. Women and Individualism: Inner and Outer Struggles over Sensibility -- The Sentimentalizing Process -- Egotism and Opposition -- The Reality of Heroism and Romance -- Subversive Potentials in Women's Developing Minds: Marriage and Class -- Still More Subversive Potentials: Sensibility and Sex -- 7. Wollstonecraft and the Crisis over Sensibility in the 1790s -- Amazons at the Boundary -- Wollstonecraft, Hays, and the Conflict over Sensibility -- Wollstonecraft Becomes Amazon -- "Man Was Made to Reason, Woman to Feel": Compromise
Control code
25131451
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xxxiv, 520 pages
Isbn
9780226037134
Lccn
91047945
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)25131451
Label
The culture of sensibility : sex and society in eighteenth-century Britain, G.J. Barker-Benfield
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 397-503) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
1. Sensibility and the Nervous System -- Wollstonecraft's Perspective: The Gendering of Sensibility -- A New Psychoperceptual System -- The Application of the New System: George Cheyne, 1671-1743 -- The Reformation of Manners Combined with Consumerism -- Nerve Theory in Novels -- Female Nerves and Sensibility's Ambiguity -- 2. The Reformation of Male Manners -- The Public Manners of Men -- The Campaign for the Reformation of Manners -- Heart Religion -- The Civilizing Process and British Commercial Capitalism -- Changed Environments and the New World of Parents and Children -- 3. The Question of Effeminacy -- Shaftesbury -- Mandeville -- Hume and Smith -- Henry MacKenzie -- Politics and Boys' Literature: Thomas Day -- 4. Women and Eighteenth-Century Consumerism -- Home Demand -- Women Become Literate, Women Write Novels -- Women's Self-Expression in Fashion -- Fiction Records Women's Pleasure Seeking -- Ambivalence toward Women's Pursuit of Consumer Pleasures -- Taste -- 5. A Culture of Reform -- Antiworldview -- Women and Humanitarian Reform -- Stalking Horses: The Campaign on Behalf of Victims of Male Barbarity -- Sensibility's Goal: The Man of Feeling -- Sensibility's Method: Conversion -- The Cult of Sensibility -- Methodism and the Culture of Sensibility -- The Rights of Woman and the Reformation of Manners -- 6. Women and Individualism: Inner and Outer Struggles over Sensibility -- The Sentimentalizing Process -- Egotism and Opposition -- The Reality of Heroism and Romance -- Subversive Potentials in Women's Developing Minds: Marriage and Class -- Still More Subversive Potentials: Sensibility and Sex -- 7. Wollstonecraft and the Crisis over Sensibility in the 1790s -- Amazons at the Boundary -- Wollstonecraft, Hays, and the Conflict over Sensibility -- Wollstonecraft Becomes Amazon -- "Man Was Made to Reason, Woman to Feel": Compromise
Control code
25131451
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
xxxiv, 520 pages
Isbn
9780226037134
Lccn
91047945
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)25131451

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