In Common Things: Commerce, Culture, and Ecology in British Romantic Literature (Hardcover)

In Common Things: Commerce, Culture, and Ecology in British Romantic Literature By Matthew Rowney Cover Image
Ships from Warehouse, Usually in 1-8 Days


The hardness of stone, the pliancy of wood, the fluidity of palm oil, the crystalline nature of salt, and the vegetable qualities of moss - each describes a way of being in and understanding the world. These substances are both natural objects hailed in Romantic literature and global commodities within a system of extraction and exchange that has driven climate change, representing the paradox of the modern relation to materiality.

In Common Things examines these five common substances - stone, wood, oil, salt, and moss - in the literature of Romantic period authors, excavating their cultural, ecological, and commodity histories. The book argues that the substances and their histories have shaped cultural consciousness, and that Romantic era texts formally encode this shaping. Matthew Rowney draws together processes, beings, and things, both from the Romantic period and from our current ecological moment, to re-invoke a lost heritage of cultural relations with common substances.

Enabling a fresh reading of Romantic literature, In Common Things prompts a reevaluation of the simple, the everyday, and the common, in light of their contributions to our contemporary sense of ourselves and our societies.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781487543488
ISBN-10: 1487543484
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Publication Date: April 7th, 2022
Pages: 232
Language: English
Front facade of University Press Books

From 1974, University Press Books has stoked the blaze of well over ten thousand minds on fire, carrying new scholarship published by the great university presses in the English-speaking world.

For more than 45 years, UPB operated out of the west half of 2430 Bancroft Way in Berkeley. We presently operate on line and stock a sales wall within the Musical Offering, same street address, east half.

Order from us. Shop us. Let well-wrought words churn and burn within.