Real money and romanticism


    • Rowlinson, Matthew Charles


Real money and romanticism

Matthew Rowlinson

(Cambridge studies in romanticism, 85)

Cambridge University Press, 2010

  • : hardback

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 234-245) and index



Real Money and Romanticism interprets poetry and fiction by Sir Walter Scott, John Keats, and Charles Dickens in the context of changes in the British monetary system and in the broader economy during the early nineteenth century. In this period modern systems of paper money and intellectual property became established; Matthew Rowlinson describes the consequent changes in relations between writers and publishers and shows how a new conception of material artefacts as the bearers of abstract value shaped Romantic conceptions of character, material culture, and labor. A fresh and radically different contribution to the growing field of inquiry into the 'economics' of literature, this is an ingenious and challenging reading of Romantic discourse from the point of view of monetary theory and history.


  • Introduction: real money
  • 1. 'The Scotch hate gold': British identity and paper money
  • 2. Curiosities and the money form in the Waverley novels
  • Notes on the text of the Waverley novels
  • 3. Keats in the hidden abode of production
  • 4. Reading capital with Little Nell
  • 5. 'To exist in a kind of allegory'
  • Appendix: copyright and authorial labor in eighteenth-century Britain.

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