Polite consumption: shopping in eighteenth century England

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  2. Professor Helen Berry
Author(s)Berry HM
Publication type Article
JournalTransactions of the Royal Historical Society
VolumeSixth series
ISSN (print)0080-4401
ISSN (electronic)1474-0648
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Shopping was increasingly seen as a potentially pleasurable activity for middling and upper sorts in Hanoverian England, a distinctive yet everyday part of life, especially in London. This survey considers the emergence of a polite shopping culture at this time, and presents a `browse-bargain' model as a framework for considering contemporary references to shopping in written records and literary texts. The decline of polite shopping is charted with reference to the rise of cash-only businesses at the end of the century, and the shift towards a more hurried and impersonal form of shopping noted by early nineteenth-century shopkeepers, assistants and customers.
PublisherCambridge University Press
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