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Necessary Luxuries
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Necessary Luxuries: Books, Literature, and the Culture of Consumption in Germany, 1770-1815

Matt Erlin


The consumer revolution of the eighteenth century brought new and exotic commodities to Europe from abroad—coffee, tea, spices, and new textiles to name a few. Yet one of the most widely distributed luxury commodities in the period was not new at all, and was produced locally—the book. This book considers books and the culture around books during this period, focusing specifically on Germany where literature, and the fine arts in general, were the subject of soul-searching debates over the legitimacy of luxury in the modern world. Building on recent work done in the fields of consumption studi ... More

Keywords: consumer revolution, books, German literature, fine arts, consumption, luxury, Joachim Heinrich Campe, Wieland, Karl Philipp Moritz, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780801453045
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801453045.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matt Erlin, author
Washington University in St. Louis