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John Keats and the Ideas of the Enlightenment$
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Porscha Fermanis

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637805

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637805.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Political Economy: Commerce, Civic Tradition and the Luxury Debate in Isabella and Lamia

Political Economy: Commerce, Civic Tradition and the Luxury Debate in Isabella and Lamia

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 4 Political Economy: Commerce, Civic Tradition and the Luxury Debate in Isabella and Lamia
Source:
John Keats and the Ideas of the Enlightenment
Author(s):

Porscha Fermanis

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637805.003.0005

This chapter reports the increasing resistance to the Enlightenment ‘cult of commerce’ from within the early nineteenth-century dissenting press, focusing on Leigh Hunt's Examiner. Isabella and Lamia make important contributions to debates on commercialisation and luxury. Isabella examines the effects of avarice and commercialism on the individual; Lamia, the broader social consequences of luxury and rampant consumerism. Hunt sustained critique of its more extreme or vicious manifestations in the form of luxury, money-getting and commercialism in the Examiner had a profound effect on John Keats' representations of the modern mercantile state in Isabella and Lamia. These poems show the way in which societies can fall into decline through an over-emphasis on the values associated with commercialism and luxury. Neither Isabella nor Lamia endorses without irony the experience of their lovers.

Keywords:   Isabella, Lamia, Leigh Hunt, Examiner, John Keats, Enlightenment, commercialisation, luxury, commercialism

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