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Title: From marketplace to domestic space : a comparative analysis of the processes of consumption in Bristol, England, and Boston, Massachusetts, c1700-1760
Author: Talbot, C.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis analyses the processes of consumption in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world and the ways consumer marketplaces affected such processes. It identifies differences in the interactions, experiences and priorities of consumers and retailers on both sides of the Atlantic, through an analysis of the process of consumption in Bristol, England, and Boston, Massachusetts, between c1700 and c.1760, from the advertising of a range of consumer goods in newspapers, to evidence of their purchase in household accounts, and their ownership in probate inventories. Just as eighteenth-century shopkeepers in both cities worked to improve the physical experience of shopping for their customers, they also strove to create virtual consumer spaces in their newspaper advertisements, especially for a selection of fashionable goods, through the increasing use of descriptive adjectives. Despite these marketing efforts, household accounts provide evidence that consumers continued to spend a large proportion of their income on a wide range of basic household consumables that were not heavily advertised, sold through a network of supply based on reputation, loyalty and familiarity. Suppliers included family members, local craftsmen and farmers, as well as established retailers. Probate inventories demonstrate the influence of a variety of factors on the accumulation of a range of household goods during the lifetimes of consumers in both cities. Emphasis has been placed on the increasing importance of fashion and fashionable goods during the eighteenth century, but probate inventories, together with newspaper advertisements and household accounts, also provide evidence of the continuing influence of quality, price, availability, and a range of environmental factors upon processes of consumption in the Atlantic world, and the continued importance of local marketplaces to eighteenth-century consumers.
Supervisor: Whittle, J. ; French, H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: consumption ; Probate inventories ; Newspaper advertisements ; Household accounts ; Processes of Consumption