You are here

Eighteenth-Century Studies


Nationalizing France's Army
Foreign, Black, and Jewish Troops in the French Military, 1715-1831 Christopher J. Tozzi

Before the French Revolution, tens of thousands of foreigners served in France’s army. They included troops from not only all parts of Europe but also places as far away as Madagascar, West Africa, and New York City. Beginning in 1789, the French revolutionaries, driven by a new political ideology... More


Spectacular Suffering
Witnessing Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic Ramesh Mallipeddi

Spectacular Suffering focuses on commodification and discipline, two key dimensions of Atlantic slavery through which black bodies were turned into things in the marketplace and persons into property on plantations. Mallipeddi approaches the problem of slavery as a problem of embodiment in this... More


Empiricist Devotions
Science, Religion, and Poetry in Early Eighteenth-Century England Courtney Weiss Smith

Featuring a moment in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England before the disciplinary divisions that we inherit today were established, Empiricist Devotions recovers a kind of empiricist thinking in which the techniques and emphases of science, religion, and literature combined and... More


No Tomorrow
The Ethics of Pleasure in the French Enlightenment Catherine Cusset

Winner of the 1996 Walker Cowen Memorial Prize, Catherine Cusset's No Tomorrow traces the moral meaning of pleasure in several libertine works of the eighteenth-century—Watteau's Pélerinage à l'île de Cythère, Prévost's Manon Lescaut, Crébillon's Les égarements du coeur et de l'esprit, the... More


Raving at Usurers
Anti-Finance and the Ethics of Uncertainty in England, 1690-1750 Dwight Codr

In Raving at Usurers, Dwight Codr explores the complex intersection of religion, economics, ethics, and literature in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England. Codr offers an alternative to the orthodox story of secular economic modernity's emergence in this key time and place, locating in... More


Ossianic Unconformities
Bardic Poetry in the Industrial Age Eric Gidal

In a sequence of publications in the 1760s, James Macpherson, a Scottish schoolteacher in the central Highlands, created fantastic epics of ancient heroes and presented them as genuine translations of the poetry of Ossian, a fictionalized Caledonian bard of the third century. In Ossianic... More


Unnatural Frenchmen
The Politics of Priestly Celibacy and Marriage, 1720-1815 E. Claire Cage

In Enlightenment and revolutionary France, new and pressing arguments emerged in the long debate over clerical celibacy. Appeals for the abolition of celibacy were couched primarily in the language of nature, social utility, and the patrie. The attack only intensified after the legalization of... More


Prose Immortality, 1711-1819
Jacob Sider Jost

Writers have always aspired to immortality, using their works to preserve their patrons, their loved ones, and themselves beyond death. For Pindar, Horace, and Shakespeare, the vehicle of such preservation was poetry. In the eighteenth century, figures such as Joseph Addison, Edward Young, Samuel... More


Utopian Geographies and the Early English Novel
Jason H. Pearl

Historians of the Enlightenment have studied the period’s substantial advances in world cartography, as well as the decline of utopia imagined in geographic terms. Literary critics, meanwhile, have assessed the emerging novel’s realism and in particular the genre’s awareness of the wider world... More


Be It Ever So Humble
Poverty, Fiction, and the Invention of the Middle-Class Home Scott R. MacKenzie

Before the rise of private homes as we now understand them, the realm of personal, private, and local relations in England was the parish, which was also the sphere of poverty management. Between the 1740s and the 1790s, legislators, political economists, reformers, and novelists transferred the... More


Wild Enlightenment
The Borders of Human Identity in the Eighteenth Century Richard Nash

Wild Enlightenment charts the travels of the figure of the wild man, in each of his guises, through the invented domain of the bourgeois public sphere. We follow him through the discursive networks of novels, broadsheets, pamphlets, and advertisements and through their material locations at fair... More


Pages