Book

Genres of the Credit Economy

Mary Poovey

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780226675329
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226675213 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226675213.001.0001
Genres of the Credit Economy

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How did banking, borrowing, investing, and even losing money—in other words, participating in the modern financial system—come to seem like routine activities of everyday life? This book addresses this question by examining the history of financial instruments and representations of finance in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. Chronicling the process by which some of our most important conceptual categories were naturalized, the author explores complex relationships among forms of writing that are not usually viewed together, from bills of exchange and bank checks, to realist novels and Romantic poems, to economic theory and financial journalism. Taking up all early forms of financial and monetary writing, she argues that these genres mediated for early modern Britons the operations of a market system organized around credit and debt. By arguing that genre is a critical tool for historical and theoretical analysis, and an agent in the events that formed the modern world, the author offers a new way to appreciate the character of the credit economy and demonstrates the contribution historians and literary scholars can make to understanding its operations. Much more than an exploration of writing on and around money, the book offers insights into the evolution of disciplines and the separation of factual and fictional genres.

Keywords: banking; borrowing; investing; losing money; modern financial system; financial instruments; representations of finance; eighteenth-century Britain; nineteenth-century Britain; bills of exchange

Book.  522 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Genres of the Credit Economy

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Preamble Mediating Genres in Genres of the Credit Economy

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Mediating Value in Genres of the Credit Economy

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“The Paper Age” in Genres of the Credit Economy

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Politicizing Paper Money in Genres of the Credit Economy

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Literary Appropriations in Genres of the Credit Economy

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