The Reception of The Ladies Paradise in Nineteenth-Century England and the Fight Against Sensual Capitalism

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Kolesnik, Diana




This thesis shows how through studying Emile Zola's The Ladies Paradise (1883), we can develop a stronger understanding of late Victorian political economy. Further, some late Victorians were very hesitant to embrace unbridled sensual capitalism for fear of enticing increased women's right movements. I discuss this through exploring the reception of the novel and writings produced by late Victorian conservative thinker and anti-feminist Lynn Linton. This thesis applies the theory of fetishisation of commodities, value theory, value augmentation and accumulation, as provided by Karl Marx, along with theories of political economy provided by Walter Bagehot, to show how these theories were ultimately limited in their scope and understanding of Victorian political economy. A theoretical approach on sensual capitalism as outlined by the Bryan Nelson and David Howes, combined with twentieth-century consumption theorists, will inform my arguments throughout in order to fill the silences in Bagehot and Marx's theories.


Political Science
European History
Literature - Romance




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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