Consuming Anxieties: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Trade in British Satire, 1660-1751 (Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) (Paperback)

Consuming Anxieties: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Trade in British Satire, 1660-1751 (Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) By Dayne C. Riley Cover Image
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Writers of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries—a period of vast economic change—recognized that the global trade in alcohol and tobacco promised a brighter financial future for England, even as overindulgence at home posed serious moral pitfalls. This engaging and original study explores how literary satirists represented these consumables—and related anxieties about the changing nature of Britishness—in their work. Riley traces the satirical treatment of wine, beer, ale, gin, pipe tobacco, and snuff from the beginning of Charles II’s reign, through the boom in tobacco’s popularity, to the end of the Gin Craze in libertine poems and plays, anonymous verse, ballad operas, and the satire of canonical writers such as Gay, Pope, and Swift. Focusing on social concerns about class, race, and gender, Consuming Anxieties examines how satirists championed Britain’s economic strength on the world stage while critiquing the effects of consumable luxuries on the British body and consciousness.

About the Author

Dayne C. Riley is the assistant director of the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa. He lives in Tulsa with his wife and dogs.

Praise For…

“In this valuable and engaging study of both canonical and less-studied Restoration and early eighteenth-century satires on wine, beer, gin, pipe tobacco, and snuff, Dayne Riley examines the influences—both good and ill—of global commerce and trade upon national character, social class, manners, and morality. You will never look at a glass of wine or a dram of gin in a literary text the same way.”
— Linda Troost

“A fascinating examination of the ways in which Restoration and early-eighteenth-century satirists used wine, gin, and tobacco to attack the evils of the day, from the unequivocal sins of lust and gluttony to the murky dangers of foreign trade and consumer culture. Surveying a wide range of genres and their contexts, Riley ably demonstrates how alcohol and tobacco became central to this period's concerns over the health of the body natural and the body politic.”
— Noelle Gallagher

“A fascinating history of alcohol and tobacco as commercial enterprises through the lens of satire. Riley advances insightful readings while tracing a development in the way that writers understood addictive substances, and provides compelling evidence of the role of satire in shaping consumer culture.”
— Ian Newman

“An engaging study on a significant topic that tracks the cultural anxieties of eighteenth-century Britain. It weaves together political, literary, economic, and cultural history with fine close readings contextualized within broader, theoretical discourse, and constitutes a distinguished contribution to thematic studies of eighteenth-century popular culture, consumption, and satire.”
— Barbara M. Benedict

Product Details
ISBN: 9781684485314
ISBN-10: 1684485312
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication Date: June 14th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850