Marketing luxury at the new exchange: Jonson's entertainment at Britain's Burse and the rhetoric of wonder

Scott, Alison (2006) Marketing luxury at the new exchange: Jonson's entertainment at Britain's Burse and the rhetoric of wonder. Early Modern Literary Studies, 12 2: .

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Author Scott, Alison
Title Marketing luxury at the new exchange: Jonson's entertainment at Britain's Burse and the rhetoric of wonder
Formatted title
Marketing luxury at the new exchange: Jonson's entertainment at Britain's Burse and the rhetoric of wonder
Journal name Early Modern Literary Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1201-2459
Publication date 2006-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 12
Issue 2
Total pages 19
Place of publication Sheffield, United Kingdom
Publisher Department of English, School of Cultural Studies, Sheffield Hallam University
Language eng
Subject 210305 British History
200503 British and Irish Literature
220209 History of Ideas
Formatted abstract
Recently rediscovered by James Knowles, The Entertainment at Britain's Burse is generally considered to be an anomaly, a text designed both to entertain royalty and to praise trade. The work of Janette Dillon and, more recently, of David Baker, however, has suggested the broader significance of Jonson's text, and has demonstrated its interplay with important and culturally shifting concepts of the period, particularly those connected with consumption, exchange, and foreign trade. Advancing from those readings, this article offers a reassessment of The Entertainment at Britain's Burse, examining it as an integral but problematic part of Robert Cecil's rather defensive marketing of the New Exchange as a refined centre of luxury; highlighting, therefore, the tensions and ambiguities implicit in the text's "praise" of Cecil and his new venture. Significantly, the article argues that, in its loaded use of the language of discovery and wonder, in its representation of the Shop Master as a Cecilian figure, and in its evocation of the satirical perspective of Jonson's city comedies, Jonson's entertainment undermines Cecil's strategic fashioning of the centre as a place where all is given not for money but for love, at the same time as it duly celebrates the occasion of the king's visit to name the newly completed Exchange. Moreover, the article suggests that this multiplying of perspective is achieved via a play on the paradox of luxury as symbolic of both magnificence and vulgarity, and by a complex, simultaneous stimulating and censuring of the spectator's/potential consumer's acquisitive desire for valuable trifles.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Online article no. 5, pp. 1-19

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
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Created: Thu, 29 Jan 2009, 11:34:36 EST by Paul Rollo on behalf of School of Communication and Arts