Between 1700 and 1830, men and women in the English-speaking territories framing the Atlantic gained unprecedented access to material things. The British Atlantic was an empire of goods, held together not just by political authority and a common language, but by a shared material culture nourished by constant flows of commodities. Diets expanded to include exotic luxuries such as tea and sugar, the fruits of mercantile and colonial expansion. Homes were furnished with novel goods, like clocks and earthenware teapots, the products of British industrial ingenuity. This groundbreaking book compares these developments in Britain and North America, bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars to consider basic questions about women, men, and objects in these regions. In asking who did the shopping, how things were used, and why they became the subject of political dispute, the essays show the profound significance of everyday objects in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world.
John Styles is Research Professor in History at the University of Hertfordshire. He co-authored Design and the Decorative Arts: Britain 1500 to 1900. Amanda Vickery is Reader in the History of Women and Gender at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her first book, The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (also published by Yale), won the Whitfield, Wolfson and Longman-History Today prizes.