A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in by James Hamilton

By James Hamilton

Britain within the 19th century observed a chain of technological and social adjustments which proceed to persuade and direct us at the present time. Its reactants have been human genius, funds and impact, its crucibles the streets and associations, its catalyst time, its regulate the market.

In this wealthy and engaging e-book, James Hamilton investigates the colourful alternate among tradition and company in nineteenth-century Britain, which turned a centre for global trade following the commercial revolution. He explores how paintings used to be made and paid for, the turns of favor, and the hot calls for of a transforming into middle-class, in demand between whom have been the artists themselves.

While prime figures corresponding to Turner, Constable, Landseer, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Dickens are avid gamers the following, so too are the shoppers, financiers, creditors and industrialists; legal professionals, publishers, marketers and reporters; artists' providers, engravers, buyers and curators; hostesses, shopkeepers and brothel keepers; quacks, charlatans and auctioneers.

Hamilton brings all of them vividly to lifestyles during this kaleidoscopic portrait of the company of tradition in nineteenth-century Britain, and gives exciting and unique insights into the operating lives of a few of our so much celebrated artists.

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Extra resources for A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in Nineteenth-Century Britain

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Everywhere in the text, Africans, whether above or below the Sahara, are deemed good or bad depending on their tractability for European purposes. Complex groups such as the Bambara and the Fulani – whose complexity could be surmised even at this early date from a careful reading of Park’s two narratives – are reduced to a phrase pinned to a moral map of the continent. Oddly, though, the matter of Adams’s race is deliberately muted by his editors. In the “Introductory Remarks,” Dupuis reports Adams’s comment in Mogador that his mother was a “mulatto,” a statement confirmed for Dupuis by a glance at “his features and complexion” (17).

A German was the next to go. Frederick Hornemann managed to cross the Sahara from Tripoli, but struck the Niger nearly a thousand miles downstream from Timbuctoo, in Nupe, where dysentery claimed him in 1800. Another Englishman named Nicholls was sent in 1804 to travel north from the Bight of Biafra, but he died of a fever in Calabar. Banks and his colleagues tried for the last time in 1808, when they sent a young Swiss, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, to attempt Ledyard’s Cairo route. Not surprisingly, considering the mortality rate among seekers of Timbuctoo, Burckhardt found occasion to spend several years exploring the Middle East before deciding that the time was right to challenge the Sahara.

Hameda’s response is enraged violence. In his refusal to submit to the inhumanity and degradation of his master’s demands, Adams stands for individual dignity. Bel-Cossim’s only principle is greed, and his professed religion is a sham. Again, the mediation of Adams’s story makes it impossible to know whether the moral drama at Wed-Noon happened this way, although Dupuis heard from several informants of Adams’s harsh treatment from the Bel-Cossims (see Note 52). Edward Said would say that its veracity is beside the point: considered as a story element, it gives its western audience what they expect to find when West meets East.

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