In this book the eighteenth century Enlightenment receives an important reassessment, using an astonishing range of materials and objects drawn from Europe and beyond, including artefacts from India and China, West Africa and Polynesia. A series of authoritative essays written by experts in the field explores the full range of material culture in the long eighteenth century, raising crucial questions about notions of property and invention, homely and commercial lives. The book also includes a series of well-illustrated exhibits, a startling and provocative assemblage of objects from the Enlightenment world, each accompanied by expert commentaries. The collection of essays and exhibits is the result of collaborative debate by scholars from Europe and north America, who have together worked on the cross-disciplinary importance of material history in making sense of how past society was fundamentally transformed through the world of goods.
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