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Resisting the Rise of the Novel
Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America

1 Enlightenment is Man emerging from his self-incurred immaturity [selbst verschuldeten Unmündigkeit]. —Immanuel Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?” (1784) Taking the late eighteenth century as a very roughly defi ned starting point, Orientalism can be discussed and analyzed as the corporate in- stitution for dealing with the Orient—dealing with it by making state- ments about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the

o o 301 o T H E PI R AT IC A L E N L IG H T E N M E N T oa d r i a n j o h n s o The term Enlightenment carries connotations of a certain kind of informa- tion dispersal. The association is with illumination itself—of light spread- ing equally in all directions from a central source. The image is a powerful one, but it was not universally invoked in the eighteenth century itself, and when it was, it was attended by problems and contradictions. Those prob- lems and contradictions become apparent as soon as practical questions are posed about enlightening as

be the People most distinguish’d for Literature in Europe?” (LDH, 1:255). In this well-known passage, Hume articulates the central paradox of the Scottish Enlightenment: how did a poor, tiny country on the geographical fringes of Europe, which was once a sovereign kingdom but had recently lost its monarchy (in the Union of Crowns of 1603), its Parliament (in the Union of 1707 that gave rise to Great Britain), and many of its greater nobility (who now enjoyed the high life in London), and whose men of letters wrote in a language (formal English) that diff

o o 164 o M E DI AT E D E N L IG H T E N M E N T t h e s y s t e m o f t h e wo r l d oc l i f f o r d s i s k i n o When Kant answered the question, “What is Enlightenment?” in 1784, he defi ned it not only as a philosophical concept but also as a particular moment in history. “We do live,” he insisted, in an age of enlightenment” (Kant 2007). The irony, for us, of Kant’s confi dent assertion is that he made it at precisely the moment that has since come to mark the start of another age: the period we call Romantic. Kant’s certainty about his own age

o o 323 o F I N A N C I N G E N L IG H T E N M E N T, PA RT O N E m o n e y m at t e r s om a r y p o o v e y o Why should we think about money when we think about “Mediating En- lightenment”? Assuming that neither Ian Baucom (below) nor I will be able to tell you exactly who fi nanced the Enlightenment (which we cannot), and assuming that the Enlightenment primarily involved new assumptions about knowledge (which it did), how will adding money change the current un- derstandings of the Enlightenment? In these brief introductory remarks, I want to name

o o 336 o F I N A N C I N G E N L IG H T E N M E N T, PA RT T WO e x t r ao r d i n a ry e x p e n d i t u r e oi a n b a u c o m o Mary Poovey’s essay “Financing Enlightenment, Part One,” off ers a reverse chronology of some of the stages through which money loses its history, isolating fi ve moments: the 1950 publication of Hannah Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism and—moving backward—the publication in 1930 of John Maynard Keynes’s Treatise on Money, in 1875 of W. Stanley Jevon’s Money, in 1810 of William Cobbett’s Paper against Gold, and in 1755 of

between William Strahan (fi g. 5.1) and Thomas Cadell (fi g. 5.2). It was a spectacular ac- complishment, especially when one considers that the books in question included so many major works by the leading writers of the age. Although several of their most distinguished authors were English, such as Edward Gibbon, Samuel Johnson, and Sir William Blackstone, a disproportionate number of them were Scots. The House of Strahan and Cadell was the preeminent publisher of the Scottish Enlightenment. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t a “house” at all, because no legal