Buy New
$66.98
Qty:1
  • List Price: $70.50
  • Save: $3.52 (5%)
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Infamous Commerce: Prostitution in Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture Hardcover – June 8, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0801444043 ISBN-10: 0801444047 Edition: 1st

Buy New
Price: $66.98
23 New from $7.35 21 Used from $5.00
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$66.98
$7.35 $5.00
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details


Editorial Reviews

Review

"What is most surprising about Laura Rosenthal's wonderfully textured cultural history of prostitution in eighteenth-century Britain is that it was not written earlier. Given the predominance of the whore's story in the period and 'the copious, even obsessive, writing about prostitution in the eighteenth century,' as Rosenthal rightly attests, the fact that no comprehensive survey of this literature had been published to date seems like a critical aberration that Infamous Commerce finally corrects. . . . Her book overflows with convincing and persuasive readings of individual texts because of the analytical simplicity and critical complexity of its historical thesis. . . . Infamous Commerce opens a flood of so many new possibilities (new texts, new readings, new histories) that it has immediately become an ur-text in the field. Every future scholar of eighteenth-century prostitution and prostitute narratives will cite this work."—Katherine Binhammer, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature

"Rosenthal offers an intriguing account of the changing figure of the prostitute in Restoration and 18th-century British culture. Tracing the transition from 'prostitution as the embrace of pleasure' to 'prostitution as the sacrifice of pleasure to business,' she argues that early in the period prostitutes were represented as 'desiring women,' longing for sexual fulfillment and receiving payment only incidentally, but that over time they came to be depicted as enterprising capitalists who engaged in sex only incidentally, in the process becoming alienated from their labor. The author pursues this thesis through a satisfying mix of texts, some firmly canonical (Clarissa, Tom Jones), some quasi-canonical (Roxana, Fanny Hill), and some obscure (prostitute biographies, South Sea narratives). Rosenthal discovers new points of contact between gender studies and labor history, and along the way touches on industrialization, contractual relations, consumerism, societies for the reformation of manners, Jewish identity, and the history of the novel. Her close readings are sensitive and well informed; the book is also pleasingly readable and therefore accessible even to nonspecialists."—Choice

"Infamous Commerce offers a rich and interesting discussion of how the meaning and function of prostitution altered during the Restoration and eighteenth century. Rosenthal's argument is fascinating: while Restoration prostitutes were imagined as 'desiring women' who were only incidentally paid for sex, this construction of the prostitute gradually changed. By the end of the period, prostitution had become a sign for alienated labor, a focal point for all of the anxieties that industrialization, capitalism, and imperialism were visiting on the culture at large."—Kathryn Temple, Georgetown University, author of Scandal Nation: Law and Authorship in Britain, 1750–1832

"In this wonderful book about the representation of prostitution in eighteenth-century English literature, Laura J. Rosenthal unravels dominant British attitudes toward commercialism, contractual relations, consumerism, desire, and gender identity. In a series of astute and revelatory readings, she shows how the prostitute figures cultural responses to the alienating effects of capitalism from London to the countryside, and from the East and West Indies to the South Seas."—Ruth Perry, MIT

"Laura J. Rosenthal's Infamous Commerce is a groundbreaking book; it is both an exemplary cultural history and a first-rate work of literary analysis. It is a must-read for teachers and students in eighteenth-century studies, women's history, gender studies, the history of sexuality, and labor history."—Robert Markley, Romano Professorial Scholar, University of Illinois

"Infamous Commerce is not only the most comprehensive and insightful study of prostitution in the eighteenth century; Laura J. Rosenthal also gives us new historical and theoretical frameworks for understanding previously ignored connections between the most private and the most public forms of human experience: sex and labor."—Kristina Straub, Carnegie Mellon University

From the Back Cover

"Infamous Commerce offers a rich and interesting discussion of how the meaning and function of prostitution altered during the Restoration and eighteenth century. Rosenthal's argument is fascinating: while Restoration prostitutes were imagined as 'desiring women' who were only incidentally paid for sex, this construction of the prostitute gradually changed. By the end of the period, prostitution had become a sign for alienated labor, a focal point for all of the anxieties that industrialization, capitalism, and imperialism were visiting on the culture at large."—Kathryn Temple, Georgetown University, author of Scandal Nation: Law and Authorship in Britain, 1750–1832

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Share your thoughts with other customers

Customer Images