Come Buy, Come Buy: Shopping and the Culture of Consumption by Krista Lysack

By Krista Lysack

From the 1860s throughout the early 20th century, nice Britain observed the increase of the dep. shop and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of intake. Come purchase, Come Buy considers representations of the feminine buyer in British women’s writing and demonstrates how women’s procuring practices are materialized as varieties of narrative, poetic, and cultural inscription, exhibiting how ladies writers emphasize consumerism as efficient of delight instead of the situation of seduction or loss. Krista Lysack examines works through Christina Rossetti, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, George Eliot, and Michael box, in addition to the suffragist newspaper Votes for girls, so that it will problem the dominant building of Victorian femininity as characterised by means of self-renunciation and the law of appetite.

Come purchase, Come Buy considers not just literary works, but in addition quite a few archival resources (shopping courses, women’s style magazines, loved ones administration courses, newspapers, and ads) and cultural practices (department shop purchasing, shoplifting and kleptomania, family economic climate, and suffragette shopkeeping). This wealth of resources unearths unforeseen relationships among intake, id, and citizenship, as Lysack lines a family tree of the girl purchaser from dissident family spender to aesthetic salonière, from curious shop-gazer to political radical.

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Extra resources for Come Buy, Come Buy: Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women's Writing

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42 With goods thus flattened into  goblin markets signifying surfaces, disarmed of their supposed Eastern dangers, the oriental bazaars were a place in which women were authorized to explore a desire that was carefully prescribed for them, one that supposedly trimmed and contained more-volatile female compulsions. Yet women shoppers were not without agency within the oriental bazaars and Eastern goods departments of London’s shopping districts. As stores constructed a consumerist empire at home and the imperial metropolis became a destination for shoppers, women negotiated desire through the materialities of consumerism and the consumer gaze.

Amenities such as these helped to make London a viable destination for middle-class women, enabling them to venture away from home for the entire day. As women were charged with the role of domestic consumers for a Victorian bourgeois class with new and greater access to capital, shopping became increasingly gendered as a female activity. 19 But, as seen earlier in Eliza Lynn Linton’s musings on the pleasures of shopping, women’s consumption could exceed the bounds of utilitarian definition. As women consumed for pleasure, shopping came to exceed the mere buying of necessities.

Like a shopper who has forgotten to read the fine print of her credit agreement, Laura also continues to pay for her visit to the market in the sense that her desire for the fruits becomes addictive and insatiable. She plans to visit the market again the following day to address her mounting hunger. But after a day of milking cows, kneading cakes, and churning butter—domestic concerns that leave bored Laura “longing for the night” (line ) and for the public sphere of the goblin market—she discovers to her horror that her previous night’s consumption has had an unexpected effect: she can longer hear the goblins’ routine cry.

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