Exploring Contexts, Marking Boundaries, Charting Parallels

  • Robert D. Grant

Abstract

By the late eighteenth-century, Britain possessed a sizeable empire in America (which it was shortly to lose), a vast territorial expansion was underway on the Indian sub-continent, and trade with West Africa and Asia was booming. This was a society characterised by burgeoning commercial interests and a quest for knowledge produced from a mix of mercantilism, gentlemanly dilettantism and growing industrial experimentation, one that looked critically at itself, as well as outwardly at global affairs, which it saw as the legitimate concern of a great civilised power. Evidence of this global purview was paraded in books, plays, engraved prints and the public spectacle of civic ceremony, military pageant and scientific experimentation; but perhaps nowhere was the complex range of that society more evident than in the flourishing popular press. In journals like The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, parliamentary news, theatrical reviews and reports of the latest events in the American colonies jostled with advertisements for commodities such as Mr Frike’s performances on his ‘harmonic glasses’; seven Discourses delivered at the Royal Academy by Sir Joshua Reynolds; The New and Complete System of Geography by Charles Middleton; and recruitment subscriptions to the Royal Navy, army and marines from ‘such as are disposed to shew their regard for the welfare of Great Britain’.

Keywords

Sugar Maize Europe Beach Topo 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser (London) 20 & 21 April 1778; John Hawkesworth, Account of the Voyages Undertaken … for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, 3 vols (London, 1773). Bristol Library borrowing records show Hawkesworth’s Voyages to be the most borrowed title between 1773 and 1784: see Alan Frost, ‘Captain James Cook and the Early Romantic Imagination’ in Captain fames Cook, Image and Impact, Walter Veit, (ed.), (Melbourne, 1972) pp. 90–106.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    James Cook, Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, 2 vols (London, 1777); Rüdiger Joppien & Bernard Smith, The Art of Captain Cook’s Voyages, Volume Two (London & New Haven, 1985) p. 71.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Percy Adams, Travellers and Travel Liars (New York, 1980) pp. 1–18; Henry Fielding, ‘Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon’, The Adventurer, no. 50 (28 April 1753); François-Xavier Charlevoix, Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle France [History and General Description of New France] 6 vols (Paris, 1744) quoted by Adams, p. 9.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Anon, New Discoveries Concerning the World and its Inhabitants (London, 1778) reprinted in The London Chronicle, 17–19 March 1778; James Burney, With Captain fames Cook in the Antarctic and Pacific (London, 1778) facsimile edition, Canberra, 1975; James Cook, Journals of Captain James Cook … Volume I, The Voyage of the Endeavour, (ed.), John Caute Beaglehole (Cambridge, 1955) p. 293.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    Harriet Guest, ‘The Great Distinction’, The Oxford Art Journal, vol. 12, no. 2, 1989, pp. 36–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 12.
    Jonathan Lamb, Preserving the Self in the South Seas (Chicago, 2001); George Hamilton, Voyage Round the World (Berwick, 1793) pp. 37, 39–40 & 87; George Forster, Voyage Round the World, 2 vols (London, 1777) vol. 1, p. 217.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    Anthony Pagden, European Encounters with the New World (New Haven & London, 1993) pp. 21 & 38; Edmond, pp. 63–83.Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    Christiana Payne, Toil and Plenty (New Haven & London, 1993) p. 7; William Howitt, The Rural Life of England, 2 vols (London, 1838) vol. 1, p. 5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert Grant 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Grant

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